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"/ found Sill backed up against the side of it, breathing hard, 
and the boy threatening to smash him with a rock half as big as 



a cocoanut. 



The Ransom of Red Chief 

and Other 

O. Henry Stories 

FOR BOYS 

AS CHOSEN BY 

FRANKLIN K. MATHIEWS 





ILLUSTRATED BY 
GORDON GRANT 



GARDEN CITY, N. Y., AND TORONTO 

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 
1921 



?s 



KfQ 



Copyright, 1906, 1 907, 1908, /pop, /p/o, /p//, /p/S, 

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 



reserved, including that of 
translation into foreign languages, 
including the Scandinavian 



PRINTED AT GARDEN CITY, N. Y., U. S, A. 



ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

Mr. Gordon Grant's illustrations in this 
book are taken from those which appear in 
the handsome fourteen-volume Memorial 
Edition of O. Henry's works, and grateful 
acknowledgment is therefore made to Mr. 
Gabriel Wells, through whose courtesy they 
are used. 



i 



CONTENTS 



PACK 



INTRODUCTION xi 

THE RANSOM OF RED CHIEF 3 

JIMMIE HAYES AND MURIEL 24 

A TECHNICAL ERROR 35 

THE REFORMATION OF CALLIOPE .... 48 

JEFF PETERS AS A PERSONAL MAGNET ... 65 

ONE DOLLAR'S WORTH 78 

A CHAPARRAL CHRISTMAS GIFT 92 

THE ROADS WE TAKE 102 

NEW YORK BY CAMP FIRE LIGHT . . . . 1 1 1 

THE ADVENTURES OF SHAMROCK JOLNES . . 119 

THE SLEUTHS 131 

THE COP AND THE ANTHEM 143 

THE FOREIGN POLICY OF Co. 99 .... 156 

MEMOIRS OF A YELLOW DOG 168 

LOST ON DRESS PARADE 178 



viii Contents 

PACB 

THE LOVE-PHILTRE OF IKEY SCHOENSTEIN . . 191 

THE GIRL AND THE HABIT 201 

AFTER TWENTY YEARS 212 

"WHAT You WANT" 219 

THE CLARION CALL . 230 

A RETRIEVED REFORMATION 244 

A DOUBLE-DYED DECEIVER 259 

THE THEORY AND THE HOUND 281 

A BLACKJACK BARGAINER . . . . . .301 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

I found Bill backed up against the side 
of it, breathing hard, and the boy 
threatening to smash him with a rock 
half as big as a cocoanut . . Frontispiece 

(See page 10) 



FACING PAGE 



I made a few passes with my hands. 
"Now," says I, "the inflammation's 
gone" 72 

The man from the West stopped suddenly 
and released his arm. "You're not 
Jimmie Wells," he snapped .... 216 

He knew the country well its most tor- 
tuous and obscure trails through the 
great wilderness 264 



IX 



INTRODUCTION 

BOYS, meet O. Henry! That's the proper 
way, it seems to me, to begin an "Introduc- 
tion" for you lads. As a teller of tales and 
spinner of yarns, by very many he is counted 
our country's greatest short story writer. The 
earlier in life you get acquainted with him, 
the longer you will enjoy him and the fewer 
will be your regrets that you didn't know him 
sooner. He didn't write stories for boys, but 
a big bunch of them might just as well have 
been, and after reading the ones I have chosen, 
you lads are likely to develop a taste for more 
that will make all his stories equally easy and 
delightful reading. 

In this selection you will find stories of the 
wild a- d woolly west. Cow-punchers, Indians, 
desperadoes, "greasers," good men and bad 
aplenty, crowd one another on and off the 
page. As you read, one moment you will be 
thrilled and the very next, if you don't watch 

xi 



xii Introduction 

out, you will find yourself laughing so loudly 
you'll have to tell "what's the joke." 

Above all, you boys demand the surprise, 
or unexpected happening in or at the end of 
the story. That's why you like detective 
stories so well. Run your eye down the table 
of contents and there greets you a goodly 
number of these, such as only O. Henry could 
write. Here again you will find the thrill, and 
again the rollicking fun to make you laugh. 
I promise you that, unless it be you are un- 
like other boys I know. 

I might describe individual stories. But 
why should I? When the titles don't tell 
their own stories they so provoke your curios- 
ity you want yourself to read the story; to 
tell you about it would be in part to spoil it. 
You want to find out for yourself what "One 
Dollar's Worth" is all about. And you know, 
of course, that "The Adventures of Shamrock 
Jolnes" is full of laughs, as must be "The 
Ransom of Red Chief." 

There's another fine thing about it, too. 
Here's a book where it doesn't matter much 
whether you begin at the beginning or in the 
middle or at the end, it's all the same you 
are bound to be immensely pleased. So, goo(? 



Introduction xiii 

luck to you ! Perhaps some day in our travels 
we'll come upon each other. Should that 
pleasure ever be mine, I am confident you will 
thank me for having introduced you to 0. 
Henry. 

F. K. MATHIEWS 

Chief Scout Librarian, 
Boy Scouts of America. 



THE RANSOM OF RED CHIEF 

AND OTHER O. HENRY STORIES 



THE RANSOM OF RED CHIEF 
AND OTHER O. HENRY STORIES 



THE RANSOM OF RED CHIEF 

IT LOOKED like a good thing: but wait till I 
tell you. We were down South, in Alabama 
Bill Driscoll and myself when this kid- 
napping idea struck us. It was, as Bill after- 
ward expressed it, "during a moment of 
temporary mental apparition"; but we didn't 
find that out till later. 

There was a town down there, as flat as a 
flannel-cake, and called Summit, of course. 
It contained inhabitants of as undeleterious 
and self-satisfied a class of peasantry as ever 
clustered around a Maypole. 

Bill and me had a joint capital of about six 
hundred dollars, and we needed just two 
thousand dollars more to pull off a fraudulent 
town-lot scheme in Western Illinois with. 
We talked it over on the front steps of the 

3 



4 The Ransom of Red Chief 

hotel. Philoprogenitiveness, says we, is 
strong in semirural communities; therefore, 
and for other reasons, a kidnapping project 
ought to do better there than in the radius 
of newspapers that send reporters out in plain 
clothes to stir up talk about such things. 
We knew that Summit couldn't get after us 
with anything stronger than constables and, 
maybe, some lackadaisical bloodhounds and 
a diatribe or two in the Weekly Farmers 9 
Budget. So, it looked good. 

We selected for our victim the only child of 
a prominent citizen named Ebenezer Dorset. 
The father was respectable and tight, a mort- 
gage fancier and a stern, upright collection- 
plate passer and forecloser. The kid was a 
boy of ten, with bas-relief freckles, and hair 
the colour of the cover of the magazine you 
buy at the news-stand when you want to 
catch a train. Bill and me figured that 
Ebenezer would melt down for a ransom of 
two thousand dollars to a cent. But wait 
till I tell you. 

About two miles from Summit was a little 
mountain, covered with a dense cedar brake. 
On the rear elevation of this mountain was a 
cave. There we stored provisions. 



The Ransom of Red Chief 5 

One evening after sundown we drove in a 
buggy past old Dorset's house. The kid 
was in the street, throwing rocks at a kitten 
on the opposite fence. 

"Hey, little boy!" says Bill, "would you 
like to have a bag of candy and a nice 
ride?" 

The boy catches Bill neatly in the eye with 
a piece of brick. 

"That will cost the old man an extra five 
hundred dollars," says Bill, climbing over 
the wheel. 

That boy put up a fight like a welter-weight 
cinnamon bear; but, at last, we got him down 
in the bottom of the buggy and drove away. 
We took him up to the cave, and I hitched the 
horse in the cedar brake. After dark I drove 
the buggy to the little village, three miles 
away, where we had hired it, and walked back 
to the mountain. 

Bill was pasting court-plaster over the 
scratches and bruises on his features. There 
was a fire burning behind the big rock at the 
entrance of the cave, and the boy was watch- 
ing a pot of boiling coffee, with two buzzard 
tail-feathers stuck in his red hair. He points 
a stick at me when I come up, and says : 



6 The Ransom of Red Chief 

"Ha! cursed paleface, do you dare to enter 
the camp of Red Chief, the terror of the plains ? " 

"He's all right now," says Bill, rolling up his 
trousers and examining some bruises on his 
shins. "We're playing Indian. We're mak- 
ing Buffalo Bill's show look like magic-lantern 
views of Palestine in the town hall. I'm Old 
Hank, the Trapper, Red Chief's captive, and 
I'm to be scalped at daybreak. By Geronimo ! 
that kid can kick hard." 

Yes, sir, that boy seemed to be having the 
time of his life. The fun of camping out in a 
cave had made him forget that he was a cap- 
tive himself. He immediately christened me 
Snake-eye, the Spy, and announced that, 
when his braves returned from the warpath, 
I was to be broiled at the stake at the rising 
of the sun. 

Then we had supper; and he'filled his mouth 
full of bacon and bread and gravy, and began 
to talk. He made a during-dinner speech 
something like this: 

"I like this fine. I never camped out be- 
fore; but I had a pet 'possum once, and I was 
nine last birthday. I hate to go to school. 
Rats ate up sixteen of Jimmy Talbot's aunt's 
speckled hen's eggs. Are there any real 



The Ransom of Red Chief 7 

Indians in these woods? I want some more 
gravy. Does the trees moving make the 
wind blow? We had five puppies. What 
makes your nose so red, Hank? My father 
has lots of money. Are the stars hot? I 
whipped Ed Walker twice, Saturday. I don't 
like girls. You dassent catch toads unless 
with a string. Do oxen make any noise? 
Why are oranges round ? Have you got beds 
to sleep on in this cave? Amos Murray has 
got six toes. A parrot can talk, but a monkey 
or a fish can't. How many does it take to 
make twelve?" 

Every few minutes he would remember that 
he was a pesky redskin, and pick up his stick 
rifle and tiptoe to the mouth of the cave 
to rubber for the scouts of the hated pale- 
face. Now and then he would let out a war- 
whoop that made Old Hank the Trapper 
shiver. That boy had Bill terrorized from the 
start. 

"Red Chief," says I to the kid, "would 
you like to go home?" 

"Aw, what for?" says he. "I don't have 
any fun at home. I hate to go to school. I 
like to camp out. You won't take me back 
home again, Snake-eye, will you?" 






1 8 The Ransom of Red Chief 

"Not right away," says I. "We'll stay 
here in the cave awhile." 

"All right!" says he. "That'll be fine. 
I never had such fun in all my life." 

We went to bed about eleven o'clock. We 
spread down some wide blankets and quilts 
and put Red Chief between us. We weren't 
afraid he'd run away. He kept us awake for 
three hours, jumping up and reaching for his 
rifle and screeching: "Hist! pard," in mine 
and Bill's ears, as the fancied crackle of a twig 
or the rustle of a leaf revealed to his young 
imagination the stealthy approach of the out- 
law band. At last I fell into a troubled 
sleep, and dreamed that I had been kidnapped 
and chained to a tree by a ferocious pirate 
with red hair. 

Just at daybreak I was awakened by a 
series of awful screams from Bill. They 
weren't yells, or howls, or shouts, or whoops, 
or yawps, such as you'd expect from a manly 
set of vocal organs they were simply in- 
decent, terrifying, humiliating screams, such 
as women emit when they see ghosts or cater- 
pillars. It's an awful thing to hear a strong, 
desperate, fat man scream incontinently in a 
cave at daybreak. 



The Ransom of Red Chief 9 

I jumped up to see what the matter was. 
Red Chief was sitting on Bill's chest, with one 
hand twined in Bill's hair. In the other he 
had the sharp case-knife we used for slicing 
bacon; and he was industriously and real- 
istically trying to take Bill's scalp, according 
to the sentence that had been pronounced 
upon him the evening before. 

I got the knife away from the kid and made 
him lie down again. But from that moment 
Bill's spirit was broken. He laid down on his 
side of the bed, but he never closed an eye 
again in sleep as long as that boy was with us. 
I dozed off for a while, but along toward sun- 
up I remembered that Red Chief had said I was 
to be burned at the stake at the rising of the 
sun. I wasn't nervous or afraid ; but I sat up 
and lit my pipe and leaned against a rock. 

"What you getting up so soon for, Sam?" 
asked Bill. 

"Me?" says I. "Oh, I got a kind of a pain 
in my shoulder. I thought sitting up would 



rest it." 






" You're a liar!" says Bill. " You're afraid. 
You was to be burned at sunrise, and you was 
afraid he'd do it. And he would, too, if he 
could find a match. Ain't it awful, Sam? 



io The Ransom of Red Chief 

Do you think anybody will pay out money to 
get a little imp like that back home?" 

" Sure," said I. "A rowdy kid like that is just 
the kind that parents dote on. Now, you and 
the Chief get up and cook breakfast, while I go 
up on the top of this mountain and reconnoitre." 

I went up on the peak of the little mountain 
and ran my eye over the contiguous vicinity. 
Over toward Summit I expected to see the 
sturdy yeomanry of the village armed with 
scythes and pitchforks beating the country- 
side for the dastardly kidnappers. But what 
I saw was a peaceful landscape dotted with 
one man ploughing with a dun mule. No- 
body was dragging the creek; no couriers 
dashed hither and yon, bringing tidings of no 
news to the distracted parents. There was 
a sylvan attitude of somnolent sleepiness per- 
vading that section of the external outward 
surface of Alabama that lay exposed to my 
view. "Perhaps," says I to myself, "it has 
not yet been discovered that the wolves have 
borne away the tender lambkin from the fold. 
Heaven help the wolves!" says I, and I 
went down the mountain to breakfast. 

When I got to the cave I found Bill backed 
up against the side of it, breathing hard, and 



The Ransom of Red Chief n 

the boy threatening to smash him with a 
rock half as big as a cocoanut. 

"He put a red-hot boiled potato down my 
back," explained Bill, "and then mashed it with 
his foot; and I boxed his ears. Have you got 
a gun about you, Sam?" 

I took the rock away from the boy and kind 
of patched up the argument. "I'll fix you/' 
says the kid to Bill. "No man ever yet 
struck the Red Chief but what he got paid 
for it. You better beware!" 

After breakfast the kid takes a piece of 
leather with strings wrapped around it out of 
his pocket and goes outside the cave unwind- 
ing it. 

"What's he up to now?" says Bill anxiously. 
" You don't think he'll run away, do you, Sam ?" 

"No fear of it," says I. "He don't seem 
to be much of a home body. But we've got 
to fix up some plan about the ransom. There 
don't seem to be much excitement around 
Summit on account of his disappearance : but 
maybe they haven't realized yet that he's 
gone. His folks may think he's spending 
the night with Aunt Jane or one of the neigh- 
bours. Anyhow, he'll be missed to-day. To- 
night we must get a message to his father 



12 The Ransom of Red Chief 

demanding the two thousand dollars for his 



return/ 3 



Just then we heard a kind of war-whoop, 
such as David might have emitted when he 
knocked out the champion Goliath. It was 
a sling that Red Chief had pulled out of his 
pocket, and he was whirling it around his 
head, 

I dodged, and heard a heavy thud and a kind 
of a sigh from Bill, like a horse gives out when 
you take 1 his saddle off. A niggerhead rock 
the size of an egg had caught Bill just behind 
his left ear. He loosened himself all over and 
fell in the fire across the frying pan of hot water 
for washing the dishes. I dragged him out and 
poured cold water on his head for half an hour. 

By and by, Bill sits up and feels behind his 
ear and says: "Sam, do you know who my 
favourite Biblical character is?" 

"Take it easy/' says I. "You'll come to 
your senses presently." 

"King Herod/' says he. "You won't go 
away and leave me here alone, will you, 
Sam?" 

I went out and caught that boy and shook 
him until his freckles rattled. 

"If you don't behave," says I, "I'll take 



The Ransom of Red Chief 13 

you straight home. Now, are you going to 
be good, or not?" 

"I was only funning," says he sullenly. 

"I didn't mean to hurt Old Hank. But 

what did he hit me for? I'll behave, Snake- 

, eye, if you won't send me home, and if you'll 

let me play the Black Scout to-day." 

"I don't know the game," says I. "That's 
for you and Mr. Bill to decide. He's your 
playmate for the day. I'm going away for a 
while, on business. Now, you come in and 
make friends with him and say you are sorry 
for hurting him, or home you go, at once." 

I made him and Bill shake hands, and then 
I took Bill aside and told him I was going to 
Poplar Cove, a little village three miles from 
the cave, and find out what I could about how 
the kidnapping had been regarded in Summit. 
Also, I thought it best to send a peremptory 
letter to old man Dorset that day, demanding 
the ransom and dictating how it should be paid. 

"You know, Sam," says Bill, "I've stood 
by you without batting an eye in earthquakes, 
fire, and flood in poker games, dynamite out- 
rages, police raids, train robberies, and cy- 
clones. I never lost my nerve yet till we 
kidnapped that two-legged skyrocket of a 



14 The Ransom of Red Chief 

kid. He's got me going. You won't leave 
me long with him, will you, Sam?" 

"I'll be back some time this afternoon," 
says I. "You must keep the boy amused 
and quiet till I return. And now we'll write 
the letter to old Dorset." 

Bill and I got paper and pencil and worked 
on the letter while Red Chief, with a blanket 
wrapped around him, strutted up and down, 
guarding the mouth of the cave. Bill begged 
me tearfully to make the ransom fifteen hun- 
dred dollars instead of two thousand. "I 
ain't attempting," says he, "to decry the 
celebrated moral aspect of parental affection, 
but we're dealing with humans, and it ain't 
human for anybody to give up two thousand 
dollars for that forty-pound chunk of freck- 
led wildcat. I'm willing to take a chance at 
fifteen hundred dollars. You can charge the 
difference up to me." 

So, to relieve Bill, I acceded, and we col- 
laborated a letter that ran this way: 

EBENEZER DORSET, ESQ.: 

We have your boy concealed in a place far from 
Summit. It is useless for you or the most skilful 
detectives to attempt to find him. Absolutely, the 
only terms on which you can have him restored to you 



The Ransom of Red Chief 15 

are these: We demand fifteen hundred dollars in 
large bills for his return: the money to be left at mid- 
night to-night at the same spot and in the same box 
as your reply as hereinafter described. If you agree 
to these terms, send your answer in writing by a sol- 
itary messenger to-night at half-past eight o'clock. 
After crossing Owl Creek, on the road to Poplar Cove, 
there are three large trees about a hundred yards apart, 
close to the fence of the wheat field on the right-hand 
side. At the bottom of the fence-post, opposite the 
third tree, will be found a small pasteboard box. 

The messenger will place the answer in this box and 
return immediately to Summit. 

If you attempt any treachery or fail to comply with 
our demand as stated, you will never see your boy 
again. 

If you pay the money as demanded, he will be re- 
turned to you safe and well within three hours. These 
terms are final, and if you do not accede to them no 
further communication will be attempted. 

Two DESPERATE MEN. 

I addressed this letter to Dorset, and put 
it in my pocket. As I was about to start, 
the kid comes up to me and says: 

"Aw, Snake-eye, you said I could play the 
Black Scout while you was gone." 

"Play it, of course," says I. "Mr. Bill 
will play with you. What kind of a game is it ? " 

"I'm the Black Scout," says Red Chief, 



1 6 The Ransom of Red Chief 

"and I have to ride to the stockade to warn 
the settlers that the Indians are coming. I'm 
tired of playing Indian myself. I want to be 
the Black Scout." 

"All right/* says I. "It sounds harmless 
to me. I guess Mr. Bill will help you foil the 
pesky savages." 

"What am I to do?" asks Bill, looking at 
the kid suspiciously. 

"You are the hoss," says Black Scout. 
"Get down on your hands and knees. How 
can I ride to the stockade without a hoss?" 

" You'd better keep him interested," said 
I, "till we get the scheme going. Loosen 
up." 

Bill gets down on his all fours, and a look 
comes in his eye like a rabbit's when you catch 
it in a trap. 

"How far is it to the stockade, kid?" he 
asks, in a husky manner of voice. 

"Ninety miles," says the Black Scout. 
"And you have to hump yourself to get there 
on time. Whoa, now!" 

The Black Scout jumps on Bill's back and 
digs his heels in his side. 

"For Heaven's sake," says Bill, "hurry 
back, Sam, as soon as you can. I wish we 



The Ransom of Red Chief '17 

hadn't made the ransom more than a thou- 
sand. Say, you quit kicking me or I'll get 
up and warm you good." 

I walked over to Poplar Cove and sat 
around the post-office and store, talking with 
the chawbacons that came in to trade. One 
whiskerando says that he hears Summit is all 
upset on account of Elder Ebenezer Dorset's 
boy having been lost or stolen. That was all 
I wanted to know. I bought some smoking 
tobacco, referred casually to the price of 
black-eyed peas, posted my letter surrep- 
titiously, and came away. The postmaster 
said the mail-carrier would come by in an 
hour to take the mail on to Summit. 

When I got back to the cave Bill and the 
boy were not to be found. I explored the 
vicinity of the cave, and risked a yodel or two, 
but there was no response. 

So I lighted my pipe and sat down on a 
mossy bank to wait developments. 

In about half an hour I heard the bushes 
rustle, and Bill wabbled out into the little 
glade in front of the cave. Behind him was the 
kid, stepping softly like a scout, with a broad 
grin on his face. Bill stopped, took off his 
hat, and wiped his face with a red handker- 



1 8 The Ransom of Red Chief 

chief. The kid stopped about eight feet 
behind him. 

"Sam," says Bill, "I suppose you'll think 
I'm a renegade, but I couldn't help it. I'm 
a grown person with masculine proclivities 
and habits of self-defense, but there is a time 
when all systems of egotism and predomi- 
nance fail. The boy is gone. I have sent 
him home. All is off. There was martyrs 
in old times," goes on Bill, "that suffered 
death rather than give up the particular 
graft they enjoyed. None of 'em ever was 
subjugated to such supernatural tortures as I 
have been. I tried to be faithful to our 
articles of depredation; but there came a limit." 

"What's the trouble, Bill?" I asks him. 

"I was rode," says Bill, "the ninety miles 
to the stockade, not barring an inch. Then, 
when the settlers was rescued, I was given 
oats. Sand ain't a palatable substitute. 
And then, for an hour I had to try to explain 
to him why there was nothin' in holes, how a 
road can run both ways, and what makes the 
grass green. I tell you, Sam, a human can 
only stand so much. I takes him by the 
neck of his clothes and drags him down the 
mountain. On the way he kicks my legs 



The Ransom of Red Chief 19 

black-and-blue from the knees down; and 
I've got to have two or three bites on my 
thumb and hand cauterized. 

"But he's gone" continues Bill "gone 
home. I showed him the road to Summit and 
kicked him about eight feet nearer there at 
one kick. I'm sorry we lose the ransom; but 
it was either that or Bill Driscoll to the mad- 
house." 

Bill is puffing and blowing, but there is a 
look of ineffable peace and growing content 
on his rose-pink features. 

"Bill," says I, "there isn't any heart disease 
in your family, is there?" 

"No," says Bill, "nothing chronic except 
malaria and accidents. Why?" 

"Then you might turn around," says I, 
"and have a look behind you." 

Bill turns and sees the boy, and loses his 
complexion and sits down plump on the 
ground and begins to pluck aimlessly at grass 
and little sticks. For an hour I was afraid 
of his mind. And then I told him that my 
scheme was to put the whole job through 
immediately and that we would get the ran- 
som and be off with it by midnight if old 
Dorset fell in with our proposition. So Bill 



'2o The Ransom of Red Chief 

braced up enough to give the kid a weak sort 
of a smile and a promise to play the Russian 
in a Japanese war with him as soon as he felt 
a little better. 

I had a scheme for collecting that ransom 
without danger of being caught by counter- 
plots that ought to commend itself to pro- 
fessional kidnappers. The tree under which 
the answer was to be left and the money 
later on was close to the road fence with big, 
bare fields on all sides. If a gang of con- 
stables should be watching for any one to 
come for the note they could see him a long 
way off crossing the fields or in the road. But 
no, sirree! At half-past eight I was up in 
that tree as well hidden as a tree toad, waiting 
for the messenger to arrive. 

Exactly on time, a half-grown boy rides 
up the road on a bicycle, locates the paste- 
board box at the foot of the fence-post, slips 
a folded piece of paper into it and pedals away 
again back toward Summit. 

I waited an hour and then concluded the 
thing was square. I slid down the tree, got 
the note, slipped along the fence till I struck 
the woods, and was back at the cave in an- 
other half an hour. I opened the note, got 



The Ransom of Red Chief 21 

near the lantern and read it to Bill. It was 
written with a pen in a crabbed hand, and the 
sum and substance of it was this: 

Two DESPERATE MEN. 

GENTLEMEN: I received your letter to-day by post, 
in regard to the ransom you ask for the return of my 
son. I think you are a little high in your demands, 
and I hereby make you a counter-proposition, which 
I am inclined to believe you will accept. You bring 
Johnny home and pay me two hundred and fifty dollars 
in cash, and I agree to take him off your hands. You 
had better come at night, for the neighbours believe 
he is lost, and I couldn't be responsible for what they 
would do to anybody they saw bringing him back. 

Very respectfully, 

EBENEZER DORSET. 

"Great pirates of Penzance!" says I; "of 
all the impudent 

But I glanced at Bill, and hesitated. He 
had the most appealing look in his eyes I 
ever saw on the face of a dumb or a talking 
brute. 

"Sam," says he, "what's two hundred and 
fifty dollars, after all ? We've got the money. 
One more night of this kid will send me to a 
bed in Bedlam. Besides being a thorough 
gentleman, I think Mr. Dorset is a spend- 



22 The Ransom of Red Chief 

thrift for making us such a liberal offer. You 
ain't going to let the chance go, are you?" 

"Tell you the truth, Bill/' says I, "this 
little he ewe lamb has somewhat got on my 
nerves, too. We'll take him home, pay the 
ransom, and make our get-away." 

We took him home that night. We got him 
to go by telling him that his father had bought 
a silver-mounted rifle and a pair of moccasins 
for him, and we were going to hunt bears the 
next day. 

It was just twelve o'clock when we knocked 
at Ebenezer's front door. Just at the mo- 
ment when I should have been abstracting 
the fifteen hundred dollars from the box under 
the tree, according to the original proposition, 
Bill was counting out two hundred and fifty 
dollars into Dorset's hand. 

When the kid found out we were going to 
leave him at home he started up a howl like 
a calliope and fastened himself as tight as a 
leech to Bill's leg. His father peeled him away 
gradually, like a porous plaster. 

"How long can you hold him?" asks Bill. 

"I'm not as strong as I used to be," says 
old Dorset, "but I think I can promise you ten 
minutes." 



The Ransom of Red Chief 23 

"Enough," says Bill. "In ten minutes I 
shall cross the Central, Southern, and Middle 
Western States, and be legging it trippingly 
for the Canadian border." 

And, as dark as it was, and as fat as Bill 
was, and as good a runner as I am, he was a 
good mile and a half out of Summit before I 
could catch up with him. 



II 

JIMMY HAYES AND MURIEL 



SUPPER was over, and there had fallen 
upon the camp the silence that accompanies 
the rolling of corn-husk cigarettes. The water- 
hole shone from the dark ea/th like a patch 
of fallen sky. Coyotes yelped. Dull thumps 
indicated the rocking-horse movements of 
the hobbled ponies as they moved to fresh 
grass. A half-troop of the Frontier Bat- 
talion of Texas Rangers were distributed 
about the fire. 

A well-known sound the fluttering and 
scraping of chaparral against wooden stir- 
rups came from the thick brush above the 
camp. The rangers listened cautiously. They 
heard a loud and cheerful voice call out reas- 
suringly: 

"Brace up, Muriel, old girl, we're 'most 
there now! Been a long ride for ye, ain't 
it, ye old antediluvian handful of animated 

24 



Jimmy Hayes and Muriel 25 

carpet-tacks? Hey, now, quit a tryin' to 
kiss me! Don't hold on to my neck so tight 
this here paint hoss ain't any too shore- 
footed, let me tell ye. He's liable to dump us 
both off if we don't watch out." 

Two minutes of waiting brought a tired 
"paint" pony single-footing into camp. A 
gangling youth of twenty lolled in the saddle. 
Of the "Muriel" whom he had been address- 
ing, nothing was to be seen. 

"Hi, fellows!" shouted the rider cheerfully. 
"This here's a letter fer Lieutenant Manning." 

He dismounted, unsaddled, dropped the 
coils of his stake-rope, and got his hobbles 
from the saddlehorn. While Lieutenant 
Manning, in command, was reading the 
letter, the newcomer rubbed solicitously at 
some dried mud in the loops of the hobbles, 
showing a consideration for the forelegs of 
his mount. 

"Boys," said the lieutenant, waving his 
hand to the rangers, "this is Mr. James Hayes. 
He's a new member of the company. Cap- 
tain McLean sends him down from El Paso. 
The boys will see that you have some supper, 
Hayes, as soon as you get your pony hobbled." 

The recruit was received cordially by the' 



26 Jimmy Hayes and Muriel 

rangers. Still, they observed him shrewdly 
and with suspended judgment. Picking a 
comrade on the border is done with ten times 
the care and discretion with which a girl 
chooses a sweetheart. On your "side-kicker's" 
nerve, loyalty, aim, and coolness your own 
life may depend many times. 

After a hearty supper Hayes joined the 
smokers about the fire His appearance did 
not settle all the questions in the minds 
of his brother rangers. They saw simply a 
loose, lank youth with tow-coloured, sun- 
burned hair and a berry-brown, ingenuous 
face that wore a quizzical, good-natured 
smile. 

"Fellows," said the new ranger, "I'm goin' 
to interduce to you a lady friend of mine. 
Ain't ever heard anybody call her a beauty, 
but you'll all admit she's got some fine points 
about her. Come along, Muriel!" 

He held open the front of his blue flannel 
shirt. Out of it crawled a horned frog. A 
bright red ribbon was tied jauntily around its 
spiky neck. It crawled to its owner's knee 
and sat there, motionless. 

! 'This here Muriel," said Hayes, with an 
oratorical wave of his hand, "has got qualities. 



Jimmy Hayes and Muriel 27 

She never talks back, she always stays at 
home, and she's satisfied with one red dress 
for every day and Sunday, too." 

"Look at that blame insect!" said one of 
the rangers with a grin. " I've seen plenty 
of them horny frogs, but I never knew any- 
body to have one for a side-partner. Does 
the blame thing know you from anybody 
else?" 

"Take it over there and see/' said Hayes. 

The stumpy little lizard known as the 
horned frog is harmless. He has the hide- 
ousness of the prehistoric monsters whose 
reduced descendant he is, but he is gentler 
than the dove. 

The ranger took Muriel from Hayes's 
knee and went back to his seat on a roll of 
blankets. The captive twisted and clawed 
and struggled vigorously in his hand. After 
holding it for a moment or two, the ranger 
set it upon the ground Awkwardly but 
swiftly the frog worked its four oddly mov- 
ing legs until it stopped close by Hayes's 
foot. 

"Well, dang my hide!" said the other 
ranger. "The little cuss knows you. Never 
thought them insects had that much sense V 



28 Jimmy Hayes and Muriel 



II 

Jimmy Hayes became a favourite in the 
ranger camp. He had an endless store of 
good nature, and a mild, perennial quality 
of humour that is well adapted to camp life. 
He was never without his horned frog. In 
the bosom of his shirt during rides, on his 
knee or shoulder in camp, under his blankets 
at night, the ugly little beast never left him. 

Jimmy was a humourist of a type that pre- 
vails in the rural South and West. Unskilled 
in originating methods of amusing or in witty 
conceptions, he had hit upon a comical idea 
and clung to it reverently. It had seemed 
to Jimmy a very funny thing to have about 
his person, with which to amuse his friends, 
a tame horned frog with a red ribbon around 
its neck. As it was a happy idea, why not 
perpetuate it? 

The sentiments existing between Jimmy and 
the frog cannot be exactly determined. The 
capability of the horned frog for lasting af- 
fection is a subject upon which we have had 
no symposiums. It is easier to guess Jimmy's 
feelings. Muriel was his chef d'ceuvre of wit, 



Jimmy Hayes and Muriel 29 

and as such he cherished her. He caught 
flies for her, and shielded her from sudden 
northers. Yet his care was half selfish, and 
when the time came she repaid him a thousand 
fold. Other Muriels have thus overbalanced 
the light attentions of other Jimmies. 

Not at once did Jimmy Hayes attain full 
brotherhood with his comrades. They loved 
him for his simplicity and drollness, but there 
hung above him a great sword of suspended 
judgment. To make merry in camp is not 
all of a ranger's life. There are horse-thieves 
to trail, desperate criminals to run down, 
bravos to battle with, bandits to rout out of 
the chaparral, peace and order to be com- 
pelled at the muzzle of a six-shooter. Jimmy 
had been " 'most generally a cow-puncher," 
he said; he was inexperienced in ranger 
methods of warfare. Therefore the ranger 
speculated apart and solemnly as to how he 
would stand fire. For, let it be known, the 
honour and pride of each ranger company is 
the individual bravery of its members. 

For two months the border was quiet. The 
rangers lolled, listless, in camp. And then- 
bringing joy to the rusting guardians of the 
frontier Sebastiano Saldar, an eminent Mex- 






30 Jimmy Hayes and Muriel 

ican desperado and cattle-thief, crossed the 
Rio Grande with his gang and began to lay 
waste the Texas side. There were indications 
that Jimmy Hayes would soon have the op- 
portunity to show his mettle. The rangers 
patrolled with alacrity, but Saldar's men 
were mounted like Lochinvar, and were hard 
to catch. 

One evening, about sundown, the rangers 
halted for supper after a long ride. Their 
horses stood panting, with their saddles on. 
The men were frying bacon and boiling coffee. 
Suddenly, out of the brush, Sebastiano Sal- 
dar and his gang dashed upon them with 
blazing six-shooters and high- voiced yells. 
It was a neat surprise. The rangers swore 
in annoyed tones, and got their Winchesters 
busy; but the attack was only a spectacular 
dash of the purest Mexican type. After the 
florid demonstration the raiders galloped away, 
yelling, down the river. The rangers mounted 
and pursued; but in less than two miles the 
fagged ponies laboured so that Lieutenant 
Manning gave the word to abandon the chase 
and return to the camp. 

Then it was discovered that Jimmy Hayes 
was missing. Some one remembered having 



Jimmy Hayes and Muriel 31 

seen him run for his pony when the attack 
began, but no one had set eyes on him since. 
Morning came, but no Jimmy. They searched 
the country around, on the theory that he 
had been killed or wounded, but without suc- 
cess. Then they followed after Saldar's gang, 
but it seemed to have disappeared. Manning 
concluded that the wily Mexican had re- 
crossed the river after his theatric farewell. 
And, indeed, no further depredations from him 
were reported. 

This gave the rangers time to nurse a sore- 
ness they had. As has been said, the pride 
and honour of the company is the individual 
bravery of its members. And now they be- 
lieved that Jimmy Hayes had turned coward 
at the whiz of Mexican bullets. There was 
no other deduction. Buck Davis pointed 
out that not a shot was fired by Saldar's 
gang after Jimmy was seen running for his 
horse. There was no way for him to have 
been shot. No, he had fled from his first 
fight, and afterward he would not return, 
aware that the scorn of his comrades would be 
a worse thing to face than the muzzles of 
many rifles. 

So Manning's detachment of McLean's 



32 Jimmy Hayes and Muriel 

company, Frontier Battalion, was gloomy. 
It was the first blot on its escutcheon. Never 
before in the history of the service had a 
ranger shown the white feather. All of them 
had liked Jimmy Hayes, and that made it 
worse. 

Days, weeks, and months went by, and 
still that little cloud of unforgotten cowardice 
hung above the camp. 

in 

Nearly a year afterward after many camp- 
ing grounds and many hundreds of miles 
guarded and defended Lieutenant Manning, 
with almost the same detachment of men, 
was sent to a point only a few miles below 
their old camp on the river to look after some 
smuggling there. One afternoon, while they 
were riding through a dense mesquite flat, 
they came upon a patch of open hog-wallow 
prairie. There they rode upon the scene of an 
unwritten tragedy. 

In a big hog-wallow lay the skeletons of 
three Mexicans. Their clothing alone served 
to identify them. The largest of the figures 
had once been Sebastiano Saldar. His great, 
costly sombrero, heavy with gold ornamenta- 



Jimmy Hayes and Muriel 33 

tion a hat famous all along the Rio Grande 
lay there pierced by three bullets. Along 
the ridge of the hog-wallow rested the rusting 
Winchester of the Me'xicans all pointing in 
the same direction. 

The rangers rode in that direction for fifty 
yards. There, in a little depression of the 
ground, with his rifle still bearing upon the 
three, lay another skeleton. It had been a 
battle of extermination. There was nothing 
to identify the solitary defender. His cloth- 
ing such as the elements had left distin- 
guishable seemed to be of the kind that any 
ranchman or cowboy might have worn. 

"Some cow-puncher," said Manning, "that 
they caught out alone. Good boy! He put 
up a dandy scrap before they got him. So 
that's why we didn't hear from Don Sebas- 
tiano any more!" 

And then, from beneath the weather- 
beaten rags of the dead man, there wriggled 
out a horned frog with a faded red ribbon 
around its neck, and sat upon the shoulder 
of its long quiet master. Mutely it told 
the story of the untried youth and the swift 
"paint" pony how they had outstripped all 
their comrades that day in the pursuit of the 



34 Jimmy Hayes and Muriel 

Mexican raiders, and how the boy had gone 
down upholding the honour of the company. 

The ranger troop herded close, and a si- 
multaneous wild yell arose from their' lips. 
The outburst was at once a dirge, an apology, 
an epitaph, and a paean of triumph. A strange 
requiem, you may say, over the body of a 
fallen comrade; but if Jimmy Hayes could 
have heard it he would have understood. 



Ill 

A TECHNICAL ERROR 

I NEVER cared especially for feuds, believing 
them to be even more overrated products of 
our country than grapefruit, scrapple, or 
honeymoons. Nevertheless, if I may be 
allowed, I will tell you of an Indian Territory 
feud of which I was press-agent, camp- 
follower, and inaccessory during the fact. 

I was on a visit to Sam Durkee's ranch, 
where I had a great time falling off un- 
manicured ponies and waving my bare hand 
at the lower jaws of wolves about two miles 
away. Sam was a hardened person of about 
twenty-five, with a reputation for going 
home in the dark with perfect equanimity, 
though often with reluctance. 

Over in the Creek Nation was a family 
bearing the name of Tatum. I was told that 
the Durkees and Tatums had been feuding 
for years. Several of each family had bitten 
the grass, and it was expected that more 

35 






36 A Technical Error 

Nebuchadnezzars would follow. A younger 
generation of each family was growing up, 
and the grass was keeping pace with them. 
But I gathered that they had fought fairly; 
that they had not lain in cornfields and aimed 
at the division of their enemies' suspenders 
in the back partly, perhaps, because there 
were no cornfields, and nobody wore more 
than one suspender. Nor had any woman or 
child of either house ever been harmed. In 
those days and you will find it so yet 
their women were safe. 

Sam Durkee had a girl. (If it were an all- 
fiction magazine that I expect to sell this 
story to, I should say, "Mr. Durkee rejoiced 
in a fiancee.") Her name was Ella Baynes. 
They appeared to be devoted to each other, 
and to have perfect confidence in each other, 
as all couples do who are and have or aren't 
and haven't. She was tolerably pretty, 
with a heavy mass of brown hair that helped 
her along. He introduced me to her, which 
seemed not to lessen her preference for him; so 
I reasoned that they were surely soul mates. 

Miss Baynes lived in Kingfisher, twenty 
miles from the ranch. Sam lived on a gallop 
between the two places. 



A Technical Error 37 

One day there came to Kingfisher a cour- 
ageous young man, rather small, with smooth 
face and regular features. He made many 
inquiries about the business of the town, and 
especially of the inhabitants cognominally. He 
said he was from Muscogee, and he looked 
it, with his yellow shoes and crocheted four- 
in-hand. I met him once when I rode in for 
the mail. He said his name was Beverly 
Travers, which seemed rather improbable. 

There were active times on the ranch, just 
then, and Sam was too busy to go to town 
often. As an incompetent and generally 
worthless guest, it devolved upon me to ride 
in for little things such as post cards, barrels 
of flour, baking-powder, smoking-tobacco, and 
letters from Ella. 

One day, when I was messenger for half a 
gross of cigarette papers and a couple of 
wagon tires, I saw the alleged Beverly Travers 
in a yellow-wheeled buggy with Ella Baynes, 
driving about town as ostentatiously as the 
black, waxy mud would permit. I knew 
that this information would bring no balm of 
Gilead to Sam's soul, so I refrained from 
including it in the news of the city that I 
retailed on my return. But on the next 






38 A Technical Error 

afternoon an elongated ex-cowboy of the 
name of Simmons, an oldtime pal of Sam's 
who kept a feed store in Kingfisher, rode 
out to the ranch and rolled and burned many 
cigarettes before he would talk. When he 
did make oration, his words were these: 

"Say, Sam, there's been a description of a 
galoot miscallin' himself Bevel-edged Travels 
impairing the atmospheric air of Kingfisher 
for the past two weeks. You know who he 
was ? He was not otherwise than Ben Tatum, 
from the Creek Nation, son of old Gopher 
Tatum that your Uncle Newt shot last 
February. You know what he done this 
morning? He killed your brother Lester- 
shot him in the co't-house yard." 

I wonder if Sam had heard. He pulled a 
twig from a mesquite bush, chewed it gravely, 
and said: 

"He did, did he? He killed Lester?" 

"The same," said Simmons. "And he did 
more. He run away with your girl, the 
same as to say Miss Ella Baynes. I thought 
you might like to know, so I rode out to 
impart the information." 

"I am much obliged, Jim," said Sam, 
taking the chewed twig from his mouth. 



A Technical Error 39 

J'Yes, I'm glad you rode out. Yes, I'm 
right glad." 

"Well, I'll be ridin' back, I reckon. That 
boy I left in the feed store don't know hay 
from oats. He shot Lester in the back. 9 ' 

"Shot him in the back?" 

"Yes, while he was hitchin' his'hoss." 

"I'm much obliged, Jim." 

"I kind of thought you'd like to know as 
soon as you could." 

"Come in and have some coffee before you 
ride back, Jim?" 

"Why, no, I reckon not; I must get back 
to the store." 

"And you say " 

"Yes, Sam. Everybody seen 'em drive 
away together in a buckboard, with a big 
bundle, like clothes, tied up in the back of it. 
He was drivin' the team he brought over 
with him from Muscogee. They'll be hard 
to overtake right away." 

"And which- 

" I was goin' on to tell you. They left on 
the Guthrie road; but there's no tellin' 
which forks they'll take you know that." 

"All right, Jim; much obliged." 

"You're welcome, Sam." 



4O A Technical Error 

Simmons rolled a cigarette and stabbed his 
pony with both heels. Twenty yards away 
he reined up and called back: 

"You don't want no assistance, as you 
might say?" 

"Not any, thanks." 

"I didn't think you would. Well, so long!" 

Sam took out and opened a bone-handled 
pocket-knife and scraped a dried piece of mud 
from his left boot. I thought at first he was 
going to swear a vendetta on the blade of it, 
or recite "The Gipsy's Curse." The few 
feuds I had ever seen or read about usually 
opened that way. This one seemed to be 
presented with a new treatment. Thus 
offered on the stage, it would have been 
hissed off, and one of Belasco's thrilling 
melodramas demanded instead. 

"I wonder," said Sam, with a profoundly 
thoughtful expression, "if the cook has any 
cold beans left over!" 

He called Wash, the Negro cook, and finding 
that he had some, ordered him to heat up the 
pot and make some strong coffee. Then we 
went into Sam's private room, where he slept, 
and kept his armoury, dogs, and the saddles 



A Technical Error 41 

of his favourite mounts. He took three or 
four six-shooters out of a bookcase and began 
to look them over, whistling "The Cowboy's 
Lament" abstractedly. Afterward he ordered 
the two best horses on the ranch saddled and 
tied to the hitching-post. 

Now, in the feud business, in all sections 
of the country, I have observed that in one 
particular there is a delicate but strict eti- 
quette belonging. You must not mention 
the word or refer to the subject in the presence 
of a feudist. It would be more reprehensible 
than commenting upon the mole on the 
chin of your rich aunt. I found, later on, 
that there is another unwritten rule, but I 
think that belongs solely to the West. 

It yet lacked two hours to supper-time; 
but in twenty minutes Sam and I were 
plunging deep into the reheated beans, hot 
coffee, and cold beef. 

"Nothing like a good meal before a long 
ride," said Sam. "Eat hearty." 

I had a sudden suspicion. 

"Why did you have two horses saddled?" 
I asked. 

"One, two one, two," said Sam. "You 
can count, can't you?" 



42 A Technical Error 

His mathematics carried with it a mo- 
mentary qualm and a lesson. The thought 
had not occurred to him that the thought 
could possibly occur to me not to ride at his 
side on that red road to revenge and justice. 
It was the higher calculus. I was booked for 
the trail. I began to eat more beans. 

In an hour we set forth at a steady gallop 
eastward. Our horses were Kentucky-bred, 
strengthened by the mesquite grass of the 
west. Ben Tatum's steeds may have been 
swifter, and he had a good lead, but if he 
had heard the punctual thuds of the hoofs of 
those trailers of ours, born in the heart of 
feudland, he might have felt that retribution 
was creeping up on the hoof-prints of his 
dapper nags. 

I knew that Ben Tatum's card to play was 
flight flight until he came within the safe 
territory of his own henchmen and supporters. 
He knew that the man pursuing him would 
follow the trail to any end where it might lead. 

During the ride Sam talked of the prospect 
for rain, of the price of beef, and of the 
musical glasses. You would have thought 
he had never had a brother or a sweetheart 
or an enemy on earth. There are some sub. 



A Technical Error 43 

jects too big even for the words in the "Un- 
abridged." Knowing this phase of the feud 
code, but not having practised it sufficiently, 
I overdid the thing by telling some slightly 
funny anecdotes. Sam laughed at exactly the 
right place laughed with his mouth. When 
I caught sight of his mouth, I wished I had 
been blessed with enough sense of humour to 
have suppressed those anecdotes. 

Our first sight of them we had in Guthrie. 
Tired and hungry, we stumbled, unwashed, 
into a little yellow-pine hotel and sat at a 
table. In the opposite corner we saw the 
fugitives. They were bent upon their meal, 
but looked around at times uneasily. 

The girl was dressed in brown one of 
these smooth, half-shiny, silky-looking affairs 
with lace collar and cuffs, and what I believe 
they call an accordion-plaited skirt. She 
wore a thick brown veil down to her nose, 
and a broad-brimmed straw hat with some 
kind of feathers adorning it. The man wore 
plain, dark clothes, and his hair was trimmed 
very short. He was such a man as you 
might see anywhere. 

There they were the murderer and the 
woman he had stolen. There we were the 






44 A Technical Error 

rightful avenger, according to the code, and 
the supernumerary who writes these words. 

For one time, at least, in the heart of the 
supernumerary there rose the killing instinct. 
For one moment he joined the force of com- 
batants orally. 

"What are you waiting for, Sam?" I said 
in a whisper. "Let him have it now!" 

Sam gave a melancholy sigh. 

"You don't understand; but he does," he 
said. "He knows. Mr. Tenderfoot, there's a 
rule out here among white men in the Nation 
that you can't shoot a man when he's with a 
woman. I never knew it to be broke yet. 
You cant do it. You've got to get him in a 
gang of men or by himself. That's why. He 
knows it, too. We all know. So, that's Mr. 
Ben Tatum! One of the ' pretty men'! I'll 
cut him out of the herd before they leave the 
hotel, and regulate his account!" 

After supper the flying pair disappeared 
quickly. Although Sam haunted lobby and 
stairway and halls half the night, in some 
mysterious way the fugitives eluded him ; and 
in the morning the veiled lady in the brown 
dress with the accordion-plaited skirt and the 
dapper young man with the close-clipped 



A Technical Error 45 

hair, and the blackboard with the prancing 
nags, were gone. 

It is a monotonous story, that of the ride; 
so it shall be curtailed. Once again we over- 
took them on a road. We were about fifty 
yards behind. They turned in the buckboard 
and looked at us; then drove on without 
whipping up their horses. Their safety no 
longer lay in speed. Ben Tatum knew. He 
knew that the only rock of safety left to him 
was the code. There is no doubt that, had 
he been alone, the matter would have been 
settled quickly with Sam Durkee in the usual 
way; but he had something at his side that 
kept still the trigger-finger of both. It 
seemed likely that he was no coward. 

So, you may perceive that woman, on 
occasions, may postpone instead of precipi- 
tating conflict between man and man. But 
not willingly or consciously. She is oblivious 
of codes. 

Five miles farther we came upon the future 
great Western city of Chandler. The horses 
of pursuers and pursued were starved and 
weary. There was one hotel that offered 
danger to man and entertainment to beast; 



46 A Technical Error 

so the four of us met again in the dining room 
at the ringing of a bell so resonant and large 
that it had cracked the welkin long ago. The 
dining room was not as large as the one at 
Guthrie. 

Just as we were eating apple pie how Ben 
Davises and tragedy impinge upon each 
other! I noticed Sam looking with keen 
intentness at our quarry where they were 
seated at a table across the room. The girl 
still wore the brown dress with lace collar 
and cuffs, and the veil drawn down to her 
nose. The man bent over his plate, with his 
close-cropped head held low. 

"There's a code," I heard Sam say, either 
to me or to himself, "that won't let you 
shoot a man in the company of a woman; 
but, by thunder, there ain't one to keep you 
from killing a woman in the company of a 
man!" 

And, quicker than my mind could follow 
his argument, he whipped a Colt's automatic 
from under his left arm and pumped six 
bullets into the body that the brown dress 
covered the brown dress with the lace collar 
and cuffs and the accordion-plaited skirt. 

The young person in the dark sack suit. 



A Technical Error 47 

from whose head and from whose life a 
woman's glory had been clipped, laid her 
head on her arms stretched upon the table; 
while people came running to raise Ben 
Tatum from the floor in his feminine masquer- 
ade that had given Sam the opportunity to 
set aside, technically, the obligations of the 
code. 






IV 

THE REFORMATION OF CALLIOPE 

CALLIOPE CATESBY was in his humours 
again. Ennui was upon him. This goodly 
promontory, the earth particularly that por- 
tion of it known as Quicksand was to him 
no more than a pestilent congregation of 
favours. Overtaken by the megrims, the 
philosopher may seek relief in soliloquy; my 
lady find solace in tears; the flaccid East- 
erner scold at the millinery bills of his women 
folk. Such recourse was insufficient to the 
denizens of Quicksand. Calliope, especially, 
was wont to express his ennui according to 
his lights. 

Over night Calliope had hung out signals 
of approaching low spirits. He had kicked 
his own dog on the porch of the Occidental 
Hotel, and refused to apologise. He had 
become capricious and fault-finding in con- 
versation. While strolling about he reached 
often for twigs of mesquite and chewed the 



The Reformation of Calliope 49 

leaves fiercely. That was always an ominous 
act. Another symptom alarming to those 
who were familiar with the different stages 
of his doldrums was his increasing politeness 
and a tendency to use formal phrases. A 
husky softness succeeded the usual penetrat- 
ing drawl in his tones. A dangerous courtesy 
marked his manners. Later, his smile be- 
came crooked, the left side of his mouth slant- 
ing upward, and Quicksand got ready to 
stand from under. 

At this stage Calliope generally began to 
drink. Finally, about midnight, he was seen 
going homeward, saluting those whom he 
met with exaggerated but inoffensive courtesy. 
Not yet was Calliope's melancholy at the 
danger point. He would seat himself at the 
window of the room he occupied over Silves- 
ter's tonsorial parlours and there chant lu- 
gubrious and tuneless ballads until morning, 
accompanying the noises by appropriate mal- 
treatment of a jingling guitar. More mag- 
nanimous than Nero, he would thus give 
musical warning of the forthcoming munici- 
pal upheaval that Quicksand was scheduled 
to endure. 

A quiet, amiable man was Calliope Catesby 



50 The Reformation of Calliope^ 

at other times quiet to indolence, and ami- 
able to worthlessness. At best he was a loafer 
and a nuisance; at worst he was the Terror 
of Quicksand. His ostensible occupation was 
something subordinate in the real estate line; 
he drove the beguiled Easterner in buck- 
boards out to look over lots and ranch prop- 
erty. Originally he came from one of the 
Gulf States, his lank six feet, slurring rhythm 
of speech, and sectional idioms giving evidence 
of his birthplace. 

And yet, after taking on Western adjust- 
ments, this languid pine-box whittler, cracker- 
barrel hugger, shady corner lounger of the 
cotton fields and sumac hills of the South 
became famed as a bad man among men who 
had made a life-long study of the art of trucu- 
lence. 

At nine the next morning Calliope was fit. 
Inspired by his own barbarous melodies and 
the contents of his jug, he was ready primed 
to gather fresh laurels from the diffident 
brow of Quicksand. Encircled and criss- 
crossed with cartridge belts, abundantly gar- 
nished with revolvers, and copiously drunk, 
he poured forth into Quicksand's main street. 
Too chivalrous to surprise and capture a 



The Reformation of Calliope 5 1 

town by silent sortie, he paused at the nearest 
corner and emitted his slogan that fearful, 
brassy yell, so reminiscent of the steam piano, 
that had gained for him the classic appellation 
that had superseded his own baptismal name. 
Following close upon his vociferation came 
three shots from his forty-five by way of lim- 
bering up the guns and testing his aim. A 
yellow dog, the personal property of Colonel 
Swazey, the proprietor of the Occidental, fell 
feet upward in the dust with one farewell yelp. 
A Mexican who was crossing the street from 
the Blue Front grocery, carrying in his hand a 
bottle of kerosene, was stimulated to a sudden 
and admirable burst of speed, still grasping 
the neck of the shattered bottle. The new 
gilt weathercock on Judge Riley J s lemon and 
ultramarine two-story residence shivered, flap- 
ped, and hung by a splinter, the sport of the 
wanton breezes. 

The artillery was in trim. Calliope's hand 
was steady. The high, calm ecstasy of ha- 
bitual battle was upon him, though slightly 
embittered by the sadness of Alexander in 
that his conquests were limited to the small 
world of Quicksand. 

Down the street went Calliope, shooting 



52 The Reformation of Calliope 

right and left. Glass fell like hail; dogs 
vamosed; chickens flew, squawking; feminine 
voices shrieked concernedly to youngsters at 
large. The din was perforated at intervals 
by the staccato of the Terror's guns, and was 
drowned periodically by the brazen screech 
that Quicksand knew so well. The occasions 
of Calliope's low spirits were legal holidays in 
Quicksand. All along the main street in 
advance of his coming clerks were putting up 
shutters and closing doors. Business would 
languish for a space. The right of way was 
Calliope'*s, and as he advanced, observing the 
dearth of opposition and the few opportunities 
for distraction, his ennui perceptibly increased. 
But some four squares farther down lively 
preparations were being made to minister to 
Mr. Catesby's love for interchange of com- 
pliments and repartee. On the previous night 
numerous messengers had hastened tc advise 
Buck Patterson, the city marshal, of Calliope's 
impending eruption. The patience of that 
official, often strained in extending leniency 
toward the disturber's misdeeds, had been 
overtaxed. In Quicksand some indulgence was 
accorded the natural ebullition of human 
nature. Providing that the lives of the more 



The Reformation of Calliope 53 

useful citizens were not recklessly squandered, 
or too much property needlessly laid waste, 
the community sentiment was against a too 
strict enforcement of the law. But Calliope 
had raised the limit. His outbursts had been 
too frequent and too violent to come within 
the classification of a normal and sanitary 
relaxation of spirit. 

Buck Patterson had been expecting and 
awaiting in his little ten-by-twelve frame 
office that preliminary yell announcing that 
Calliope was feeling blue. When the signal 
came the City Marshal rose to his feet and 
buckled on his guns. Two deputy sheriffs 
and three citizens who had proven the edible 
qualities of fire also stood up, ready to bandy 
with Calliope's leaden jocularities. 

" Gather that fellow in," said Buck Pat- 
terson, setting forth the lines of the campaign. 
" Don't have no talk, but shoot as soon as you 
can get a show. Keep behind cover and 
bring him down. He's a nogood 'un. It's 
up to Calliope to turn up his toes this time, I 
reckon. Go to him all spraddled out, boys. 
And don't git too reckless, for what CaJliope 
shoots at he hits." 

Buck Patterson, tall, muscular, and solemn- 



54 The Reformation of Calliope 

faced, with his bright "City Marshal" badge 
shining on the breast of his blue flannel shirt, 
gave his posse directions for the onslaught 
upon Calliope. The plan was to accomplish 
the downfall of the Quicksand Terror without 
loss to the attacking party, 'if possible. 

The splenetic Calliope, unconscious of re- 
tributive plots, was steaming down the chan- 
nel, cannonading on either side, when he sud- 
denly became aware of breakers ahead. The 
city marshal and one of the deputies rose 
up behind some dry-goods boxes half a square 
to the front and opened fire. At the same 
time the rest of the posse, divided, shelled 
him from two side streets up which they were 
cautiously manoeuvring from a well-executed 
detour. 

The first volley broke the lock of one of 
Calliope's guns, cut a neat underbit in his 
right ear, and exploded a cartridge in his 
crossbelt, scorching his ribs as it burst. Feel- 
ing braced up by this unexpected tonic to 
his spiritual depression, Calliope executed a 
fortissimo note from his upper register, and 
returned the fire like an echo. The upholders 
of the law dodged at his flash, but a trifle too 
late to save one of the deputies a bullet just 



r 

The Reformation of Calliope 55 

above the elbow, and the marshal a bleeding 
cheek from a splinter that a ball tore from 
the box he had ducked behind. 

And now Calliope met the enemy's tactics 
in kind. Choosing with a rapid eye the street 
from which the weakest and least accurate 
fire had come, he invaded it at a double-quick, 
abandoning the unprotected middle of the 
street. With rare cunning the opposing force 
in that direction one of the deputies and two 
of the valorous volunteers waited, con- 
cealed by beer barrels, until Calliope had 
passed their retreat, and then peppered him 
from the rear. In another moment they 
were reinforced by the marshal and his other 
men, and then Calliope felt that in order to 
successfully prolong the delights of the con- 
:roversy he must find some means of reducing 
the great odds against him. His eye fell 
ipon a structure that seemed to hold out this 
)romise, providing he could reach it. 

Not far away was the little railroad station, 
its building a strong box house, ten by twenty 
feet, resting upon a platform four feet above 
[round. Windows were in each of its walls. 

unething like a fort it might become to a 

in thus sorely pressed by superior numbers. 



56 The Reformation of Calliope 

Calliope made a bold and rapid spurt for it, 
the marshal's crowd "smoking" him as he ran. 
He reached the haven in safety, the station 
agent leaving the building by a window, like a 
flying squirrel, as the garrison entered the 
door. 

Patterson and his supporters halted under 
protection of a pile of lumber and held con- 
sultations. In the station was an unterrified 
desperado who was an excellent shot and 
carried an abundance of ammunition. For 
thirty yards on each side of the besieged was a 
stretch of bare, open ground. It was a sure 
thing that the man who attempted to enter 
that unprotected area would be stopped by 
one of Calliope's bullets. 

The city marshal was resolved. He had 
decided that Calliope Catesby should no more 
wake the echoes of Quicksand with his strident 
whoop. He had so announced. Officially 
and personally he fejt imperatively bound to 
put the soft pedal on that instrument of dis- 
cord. It played bad tunes. 

Standing near was a hand truck used in the 
manipulation of small freight. It stood by a 
shed full of sacked wool, a consignment from 
one of the sheep ranches. On this truck the 



The Reformation of Calliope 57 

marshal and his men piled three heavy sacks 
of wool. Stooping low, Buck Patterson started 
for Calliope's fort, slowly pushing this loaded 
truck before him for protection. The posse, 
scattering broadly, stood ready to nip the 
besieged in case he should show himself in an 
effort to repel the juggernaut of justice that 
was creeping upon him. Only once did Cal- 
liope make demonstration. He fired from a 
window, and some tufts of wool spurted from 
the marshal's trustworthy bulwark. The re- 
turn shots from the posse pattered against 
the window frame of the fort. No loss re- 
sulted on either side. 

The marshal was too deeply engrossed in 
steering his protected battleship to be aware 
of the approach of the morning train until 
he was within a few feet of the platform. 
The train was coming up on the other side 
of it. It stopped only one minute at Quick- 
sand. What an opportunity it would offer 
to Calliope! He had only to step out the 
other door, mount the train, and away. 

Abandoning his breastworks, Buck, with 
his gun ready, dashed up the steps and into 
the room, driving open the closed door with 
one heave of his weighty shoulder. The 



58 The Reformation of Calliope 

members of the posse heard one shot fired in- 
side, and then there was silence. 

At length the wounded man opened his 
eyes. After a blank space he again could 
see and hear and feel and think. Turning 
his eyes about, he found himself lying on a 
wooden bench. A tall man with a perplexed 
countenance, wearing a big badge with "City 
Marshal" engraved upon it, stood over him. 
A little old woman in black, with a wrinkled 
face and sparkling black eyes, was holding a 
wet handkerchief against one of his temples. 
He was trying to get these facts fixed in his 
mind and connected with past events, when 
the old woman began to talk. 

"There now, great, big, strong man! That 
bullet never teched ye! Jest skeeted along 
the side of your head and sort of paralyzed 
ye for a spell. I've heerd of sech things afore; 
cun-cussion is what they names it. Abel 
Wadkins used to kill squirrels that way 
barkin' em, Abe called it. You jest been 
barked, sir, and you'll be all right in a little 
bit. Feel lots better already, don't ye! You 
just lay still a while longer and let me bathe 
your head. You don't know me, I reckon, 
and 'tain't surprisin' that you shouldn't. I 



The Reformation of Calliope 59 

come in on that train from Alabama to see my 
son. Big son, ain't he ? Lands ! you wouldn't 
hardly think he'd ever been a baby, would ye? 
This is my son, sir." 

Half turning, the old woman looked up 
at the standing man, her worn face lighting 
with a proud and wonderful smile. She 
reached out one veined and calloused hand 
and took one of her son's. Then smiling 
cheerily down at the prostrate man, she con- 
tinued to dip the handkerchief in the waiting- 
room tin washbasin and gently apply it to 
his temple. She had the benevolent garrulity 
of old age. 

" I ain't seen my son before," she continued, 
"in eight years. One of my nephews, El- 
kanah Price, he's a conductor on one of them 
railroads and he got me a pass to come out 
here. I can stay a whole week on it, and 
then it'll take me back again. Jest think, 
now, that little boy of rnine has got to be a 
officer a city marshal of a whole town! 
That's somethin' like a constable, ain't it? 
I never knowed he was a officer: he didn't 
say nothin' about it in his letters. I reckon 
he thought his old mother'd be skeered about 
the danger he was in. But, laws! I never 



60 The Reformation of Calliope 

was much of a hand to git skeered. 'Tain*t 
no use. I heard them guns a-shootin' while 
I was gittin''off them cars, and I see smoke a- 
comin' out of the depot, but I jest walked 
right along. Then I see son's face lookin' 
out through the window. I knowed him at 
oncet. He met me at the door, and squeezed 
me 'most to death. And there you was, sir, 
a-lyin' there jest like you was dead, and I 
'lowed we'd see what might be done to help 
sot you up." 

"I think I'll sit up now," said the concussion 
patient. " I'm feeling pretty fair by this time." 

He sat, somewhat weakly yet, leaning 
against the wall. He was a rugged man, big- 
boned and straight. His eyes, steady and 
keen, seemed to linger upon the face of the 
man standing so still above him. His look 
wandered often from the face he studied to 
the marshal's badge upon the other's breast. 

"Yes, yes, you'll be all right," said the old 
woman, patting his arm, "if you don't get to 
cuttin' up agin, and havin' folks shootin' 
at you. Son told me about you, sir, while 
you was layin' senseless on the floor. Don't 
you take it as meddlesome fer an old woman 
with a son as big as you to talk about it. 



The Reformation of Calliope 6 1 

And you mustn't hold no grudge ag'in my 
son for havin' to shoot at ye. A officer has 
got to take up for the law it's his duty 
and them that acts bad and lives wrong 
has to suffer. Don't blame my son any, sir 

-'tain't his fault. He's always been a good 
boy good when he was growin' up, and 
kind and 'bedient and well-behaved. Won't 
you let me advise you, sir, not to do so no 
more? Be a good man, and leave liquor 
alone and live peaceably and godly. Keep 
away from bad company and work honest 
and sleep sweet." 

The black-mittened hand of the old pleader 
gently touched the breast of the man she ad- 
dressed. Very earnest and candid her old, 
worn face looked. In her rusty black dress 
and antique bonnet she sat, near the close of 
a long life, and epitomized the experience of 
the world. Still the man to whom she spoke 
gazed above her head, contemplating the silent 
son of the old mother. 

"What does the marshal say?" he asked. 
"Does he believe the advice is good? Sup- 
pose the marshal speaks up and says if the 
talk's all right?" 

The tall man moved uneasily. He fingered 



62 The Reformation of Calliope 

the badge on his breast for a moment, and then 
he put an arm around the old woman and drew 
her close to him. She smiled the unchanging 
mother smile of three-score years, and patted 
his big brown hand with her crooked, mit- 
tened fingers while her son spake. 

" I says this," he said, looking squarely into 
'the eyes of the other man, "that if I was in 
your place I'd follow it. If I was a drunken, 
desp'rate character, without shame or hope, 
I'd follow it. If I was in your place and you 
was in mine I'd say: 'Marshal, I'm willin' to 
swear if you'll give me the chance I'll quit the 
racket. I'll drop the tanglefoot and the gun- 
play, and won't play hoss no more. I'll be 
a good citizen and go to work and quit my 
foolishness. So help me God!' That's what 
I'd say to you if you was marshal and I was in 
your place." 

" Hear my son talkin 5 ," said the old woman 
softly. " Hear him, sir. You promise to be 
good and he won't do you no harm. Forty- 
one year ago his heart first beat ag'in 5 mine, 
and it's beat true ever since." 

The other man rose to his feet, trying his 
limbs and stretching his muscles. 

"Then," said he, "if you was in my place 



The Reformation of Calliope 63 

and said that, and I was marshal, I'd say. 
'Go free, and do your best to keep your 
promise." 

"Lawsy!" exclaimed the old woman, in a 
sudden flutter, "ef I didn't clear forget that 
trunk of mine ! I see a man settin' it on the 
platform jest as I seen son's face in the win- 
dow, and it went plum out of my head, 
There's eight jars of home-made quince jam 
in that trunk that I made myself. I wouldn't 
have nothin' happen to them jars for a red 
apple." 

Away to the door she trotted, spry and 
anxious, and then Calliope Catesby spoke out 
to Buck Patterson: 

"I just couldn't help it, Buck. I seen her 
through the window a-comin' in. She never 
had heard a word 'bout my tough ways. I 
didn't have the nerve to let her know I was 
a worthless cuss bein' hunted down by the 
community. There you was lyin' where my 
shot laid you, like you was dead. The idea 
struck me sudden, and I just took your badge 
off and fastened it onto myself, and I fastened 
my reputation on'to you. I told her I was the 
marshal and you was a holy terror. You can 
take your badge back now, Buck." 



64 The Reformation of Calliope 

With shaking fingers Calliope began to un- 
fasten the disc of metal from his shirt. 

"Easy there!" said Buck Patterson. "You 
keep that badge right where it is, Calliope 
Catesby. Don't you dare to take it off till 
the day your mother leaves this town. You'll 
be city marshal of Quicksand as long as she's 
here to know it. After I stir around town a 
bit and put 'em on I'll guarantee that nobody 
won't give the thing away to her. And say, 
you leather-headed, rip-roarin', low-down son 
of a locoed cyclone, you follow that advice she 
give me! I'm goin' to take some of it myself, 
too." 

"Buck," said Calliope feelingly, "ef I don't 
I hope I may 

"Shut up," said Buck. "She's a-comin' 
back." 



V 

JEFF PETERS AS A PERSONAL MAGNET 

JEFF PETERS has been engaged in as many 
schemes for making money as there are recipes 
for cooking rice in Charleston, S. C. 

Best of all I like to hear him tell of his earlier 
days when he sold liniments and cough cures 
on street corners, living hand to mouth, heart 
to heart with the people, throwing heads or 
tails with fortune for his last coin. 

"I struck Fisher Hill, Arkansaw," said he, 
"in a buckskin suit, moccasins, long hair, and 
a thirty-carat diamond ring that I got from 
an actor in Texarkana. I don't know what 
he ever did with the pocket knife I swapped 
him for it. 

"I was Doctor Waugh-hoo, the celebrated 
Indian medicine man. I carried only one 
best bet just then, and that was Resurrection 
Bitters. It was made of life-giving plants 
and herbs accidentally discovered by Ta-qua- 
la, the beautiful wife of the chief of the Choc- 

65 



66 Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 

taw Nation, while gathering truck to garnish a 
platter of boiled dog for the annual corn dance. 

"Business hadn't been good at the last 
town, so I only had five dollars. I went to 
the Fisher Hill druggist and he credited me for 
half a gross of eight-ounce bottles and corks. 
I had the labels and ingredients in my valise, 
left over from the last town. Life began to 
look rosy again after I got in my hotel room 
with the water running from the tap, and the 
Resurrection Bitters lining up on the table by 
the dozen. 

"Fake? No, sir. There was two dollars' 
worth of fluid extract of cinchona and a 
dime's worth of aniline in that half-gross ol 
bitters. I've gone through towns years after- 
wards and had folks ask for 'em again. 

" I hired a wagon that night and commenced 
selling the bitters on Main Street. Fisher 
Hill was a low, malarial town ; and a compound 
hypothetical pneumo-cardiac anti-scorbutic 
tonic was just what I diagnosed the crowd as 
needing. The bitters started off like sweet- 
breads-on-toast at a vegetarian dinner. I had 
sold two dozen at fifty cents apiece when I felt 
somebody pull my coat tail. I knew what 
that meant; so I climbed down and sneaked a 



Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 67 

five-dollar bill into the hand of a man with a 
German silver star on his lapel. 

"'Constable/ says I, 'it's a fine night/ 

"Have you got a city license/ he asks, 'to 
sell this illegitimate essence of spooju that you 
flatter by the name of medicine?' 

"'I have not/ says' I. 'I didn't know you 
had a city. If I can find it to-morrow I'll take 
one out if it's necessary/ 

'Til have to close you up till you do/ says 
the constable. 

"I quit selling and went back to the hotel. 
I was talking to the landlord about it. 

f "0h, you won't stand no show in Fisher 
Hill/ says he. 'Doctor Hoskins, the only 
doctor here, is a brother-in-law of the Mayor, 
and they won't allow no fake doctor to prac- 
tice, in town/ 

: "I don't practice medicine/ says I, 'I've 
got a State peddler's license, and I take out a 
city one wherever they demand it/ 

"I went to the Mayor's office the next 
morning and they told me he hadn't showed 
up yet. They didn't know when he'd be 
down. So Doc Waugh-hoo hunches down 
again in a hotel chair and lights a jimpson- 
weed regalia, and waits. 



68 Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 

" By and by a young man in a blue necktie 
slips into the chair next to me and asks the 
time. 

"Half-past ten/ says I, 'and you are Andy 
Tucker. I've seen you work. Wasn't it you 
that put up the Great Cupid Combination 
package on the Southern States? Let's see, 
it was a Chilian diamond engagement ring, 
a wedding ring, a potato masher, a bottle of 
soothing syrup and Dorothy Vernon all for 
fifty cents/ 

"Andy was pleased to hear that I remem- 
bered him. He was a good street man; and he 
was more than that he respected his pro- 
fession, and he was satisfied with 300 per 
cent, profit. He had plenty of offers to go into 
the illegitimate drug and garden seed business; 
but he was never to be tempted off of the 
straight path. 

" I wanted a partner, so Andy and me agreed 
to go out together. I told him about the 
situation in Fisher Hill and how finances was 
low on account of the local mixture of politics 
and jalap. Andy had just got in on the train 
that morning. He was pretty low himself, 
and was going to canvass the town for a few 
dollars to build a new battleship by popular 



Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 69 

subscription at Eureka Springs. So we went 
out and sat on the porch and talked it over. 

"The next morning at eleven o'clock when 
I was sitting there alone, an Uncle Tom shuffles 
into the hotel and asked for the doctor to 
come and see Judge Banks, who, it seems, was 
the mayor and a mighty sick man. 

: 'Tm no doctor,' says I. 'Why don't you 
go and get the doctor?' 

"Boss/ says he, 'Doc Hoskins am done 
gone twenty miles in de country to see some 
sick persons. He's de only doctor in de town, 
and Massa Banks am powerful bad off. He 
sent me to ax you to please, suh, come.' 

"As man to man,' says I, Til go and look 
him over.' So I put a bottle of Resurrection 
Bitters in my pocket and goes up on the hill 
to the Mayor's mansion, the finest house in 
town, with a mansard roof and two cast-iron 
dogs on the lawn. 

"This Mayor Banks was in bed all but his 
whiskers and feet. He was making internal 
noises that would have had everybody in 
San Francisco hiking for the parks. A young 
man was standing by the bed holding a cup 
of water. 

"Doc/ says the Mayor, 'I'm awful sick. 



70 Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 

I'm about to die. Can't you do nothing for 
me?' 

"'Mr. Mayor/ says I, 'I'm not a regular 
preordained disciple of S. Q. Lapius. I never 
took a course in a medical college,' says I. 
Tve just come as a fellow man to see if I 
could be of assistance/ 

"I'm deeply obliged,' says he. 'Doc 
Waugh-hoo, this is my nephew, Mr. Biddle. 
He has tried to alleviate my distress, but 
without success. Oh, Lordy! Ow-ow-ow!!' 
he sings out. 

"I nods at Mr. Biddle and sets down by the 
bed and feels the Mayor's pulse. 'Let me 
see your liver your tongue, I mean,' says I. 
Then I turns up the lids of his eyes and looks 
close at the pupils of 'em. 

"How long have you been sick?' I asked. 

"I was taken down ow-ouch last night/ 
says the Mayor. 'Gimme something for it, 
doc, won't you?' 

"Mr. Fiddle/ says I, 'raise the window 
shade a bit, will you?' 

"Biddle/ says the young man. 'Do you 
feel like you could eat some ham and eggs, 
Uncle James?' 

"'Mr. Mayor/ says I, after laying my ear 



Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 71 

to his right shoulder blade and listening, 
'you've got a bad attack of super-inflammation 
of the right clavicle of the harpsichord!' 

"Good Lord !' says he, with a groan. 'Can't 
you rub something on it, or set it or any- 
thing?' v. 

" I picks up my hat and starts for the door. 
'You ain't going, Doc?' says the Mayor 
with a howl. 'You ain't going away and leave 
me to die with this superfluity of the clap- 
boards, are you?' 

"Common 'humanity, Dr. Whoa-ha,' says 
Mr. Biddle, 'ought to prevent your desert- 
ing a fellow-human in distress/ 

"Dr. Waugh-hoo, when you get through 
plowing,' says I. And then I walks back to 
the bed and throws back my long hair. 

'"Mr. Mayor,' says I, 'there is only one 
hope for you. Drugs will do you no good. 
But there is another power higher yet, al- 
though drugs are high enough/ says I. 

"'And what is that?' says he. 

"Scientific demonstrations,' says I. 'The 
triumph of mind over sarsaparilla. The be- 
lief that there is no pain and sickness except 
what is produced when we ain't feeling well. 
Declare yourself in arrears. Demonstrate/ 



72 Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 

"What is this paraphernalia you speak of, 
Doc?' says the Mayor. 'You ain't a Social- 
ist, are you?' 

"'I am speaking,' says I, 'of the great 
doctrine of psychic financiering of the en- 
lightened school of long-distance, sub-con- 
scientious treatment of fallacies and meningi- 
tis of that wonderful indoor sport known as 
personal magnetism. 5 

"Can you work it, Doc?' asks the Mayor. 
"I'm one of the Sole Sanhedrims and Os- 
tensible Hooplas of the Inner Pulpit,' says I. 
'The lame talk and the blind rubber when- 
ever I make a pass at 'em. I am a medium, 
a coloratura hypnotist, and a spirituous con- 
trol. It was only through me at the recent 
seances at Ann Arbor that the late president 
of the Vinegar Bitters Company could revisit 
the earth to communicate with his sister 
Jane. You see me peddling medicine on the 
streets/ says I, 'to the poor. I don't prac- 
tice personal magnetism on them. I do not 
drag it in the dust,' says I, 'because they 
haven't got the dust.' 

'"Will you treat my case?' asks the Mayor. 

"'Listen,' says I. 'I've had a good deal of 
trouble with medical societies everywhere I've 




'/ made a jew passes with my hands. 'Now,' says /, 'the 
inflammation's gone' " 



Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 73 

been. I don't practice medicine. But, to 
save your life, I'll give you the psychic treat- 
ment if you'll agree as mayor not to push the 
license question/ 

"'Of course I will/ says he. 'And now get 
to work, Doc, for them pains are coming on 
again.' 

"'My fee will be $250, cure guaranteed in 
two treatments,' says I. 

"'All right,' says the Mayor. Til pay it. 
I guess my life's worth that much.' 

"I sat down by the bed and looked him 
straight in the eye. 

"'Now,' says I, 'get your mind off the dis- 
ease. You ain't sick. You haven't got a 
heart or a clavicle or a funny bone or brains 
or anything. You haven't got any pain. 
Declare error. Now you feel the pain that 
you didn't have leaving, don't you?' 

'"I do feel some little better, Doc,' says the 
Mayor, 'darned if I don't. Now state a few 
lies about my not having this swelling in my 
left side, and I think I could be propped up 
and have some sausage and buckwheat cakes/ 

"I made a few passes with my hands. 
"Now,' says I, 'the inflammation's gone. 
The right lobe of the perihelion has subsided. 



74 Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 

You're getting sleepy. You can't hold your 
eyes open any longer. For the present the 
disease is checked. Now, you are asleep.' 

"The Mayor shut his eyes slowly and began 
to snore. 

"'You observe, Mr. Tiddle,' says I, 'the 
wonders of modern science.' 

" ' Biddle,' says he. 'When will you give uncle 
the rest of the treatment, Dr. Poohpooh?' 

"'Waugh-hoo,' says I. Til come back at 
eleven to-morrow. When he wakes up give 
him eight drops of turpentine and three 
pounds of steak. Good-morning.' 

"The next morning I went back on time. 
'Well, Mr. Riddle,' says I, when he opened 
the bedroom door, 'and how is uncle this 
morning?' 

"'He seems much better,' says the young 
man. 

"The Mayor's colour and pulse was fine. I 
gave him another treatment, and he said the 
last of the pain left him. 

"'Now,' says I, 'you'd better stay in bed 
for a day or two, and you'll be all right. It's 
a good thing I happened to be in Fisher Hill, 
Mr. Mayor,' says I, 'for all the remedies in 
the cornucopia that the regular schools of 



Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 75 

medicine use couldn't have saved you. And 
now that error has flew and pain proved a 
perjurer, let's allude to a cheerfuller subject 
say the fee of $250. No checks, please, I 
hate to write my name on the back of a check 
almost as bad as I do on the front.' 

"I've got the cash here,' says the Mayor, 
pulling a pocketbook from under his pillow. 

"He counts out five fifty-dollar notes and 
holds 'em in his hand. 

"'Bring the receipt/ he says to Biddle. 

"I signed the receipt and the Mayor handed 
me the money. I put it in my inside pocket 
careful. 

"' Now do your duty, officer, 'says the Mayor, 
grinning much unlike a sick man. 

"Mr. Biddle lays his hand on my arm. 

'You're under arrest, Dr. Waugh-hoo, 
alias Peters/ says he, 'for practising medicine 
without authority under the State law.' 

"'Who are you?' I asks. 

"Til tell you who he is/ says Mr. Mayor, 
sitting up in bed. ' He's a detective employed 
by the State Medical Society. He's been 
following you over five counties. He came 
to me yesterday and we fixed up this scheme 
to catch you. I guess you won't do any 



76 Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 

more doctoring around these parts, Mr. Fakir. 
What was it you said I had, Doc?' the Mayor 
laughs, 'compound well, it wasn't softening 
of the brain, I guess, anyway/ 

"'A detective/ says I. 

"'Correct,' says Biddle. Til have to turn 
you over to the sheriff.' 

'"Let's see you do it,' says I, and I grabs 
Biddle by the throat and half throws him out 
the window, but he pulls a gun and sticks 
it under my chin, and I stand still. Then 
he puts handcuffs on me, and takes the money 
out of my pocket. 

'"I witness,' says he, 'that they're the same 
bills that you and I marked, Judge Banks. 
I'll turn them over to the sheriff when we get 
to his office, and he'll send you a receipt. 
They'll have to be used as evidence in the 
case/ 

"'All right, Mr. Biddle,' says the mayor. 
'And now, Doc Waugh-hoo,' he goes on, 'why 
don't you demonstrate ? Can't you pull the 
cork out of your magnetism with your teeth 
and hocus-pocus them handcuffs off?' 

"'Come on, officer,' says I, dignified. 'I 
may as well make the best of it/ And then I 
turns to old Banks and rattles my chains. 



Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet 



/ / 



"'Mr. Mayor,' says I, 'the time will come 
soon when you'll believe that personal mag- 
netism is a success. And you'll be sure that it 
succeeded in this case, too.' 

"And I guess it did. 

"When we got nearly to the gate, I says: 
'We might meet somebody now, Andy. I 
reckon you better take 'em off, and ' Hey? 
Why, of course it was Andy Tucker. That 
was his scheme; and that's how we got the 
capital to go into business together." 



VI 

ONE DOLLAR'S WORTH 

THE judge of the United States court of the 
district lying along the Rio Grande border 
found the following letter one morning in his 
mail: 

JUDGE: 

When you sent me up for four years you made a 
talk. Among other hard things, you called me a rattle- 
snake. Maybe I am one anyhow, you hear me 
rattling now. One year after I got to the pen, my 
daughter died of well, they said it was poverty and 
the disgrace together. You've got a daughter, Judge, 
and I'm going to make you know how it feels to lose 
one. And I'm going to bite that district attorney 
that spoke against me. I'm free now, and I guess 
I've turned to rattlesnake all right. I feel like one. 
I don't say much, but this is my rattle. Look out 
when I strike. 

Yours respectfully, 

RATTLESNAKE. 

Judge Derwent threw the letter carelessly 
aside. It was nothing new to receive such 
epistles from desperate men whom he had 
been called upon to judge. He felt no alarm. 

7* 



One Dollar's Worth 79 

Later on he showed the letter to Littlefield, 
the young district attorney, for Littlefield's 
name was included in the threat, and the 
judge was punctilious in matters between him- 
self and his fellowmen. 

Littlefield honoured the rattle of the writer, 
as far as it concerned himself, with a smile of 
contempt; but he frowned a little over the 
reference to the Judge's daughter, for he and 
Nancy Derwent were to be married in the 
fall. 

Littlefield went to the clerk of the court and 
looked over the records with him. They 
decided that the letter might have been sent 
by Mexico Sam, a half-breed border desperado 
who had been imprisoned for manslaughter four 
years before. Then official duties crowded 
the matter from his mind, and the rattle of 
the revengeful serpent was forgotten. 

Court was in session at Brownsville. Most 
of the cases to be tried were charges of smug- 
gling, counterfeiting, post-office robberies, and 
violations of Federal laws along the border. 
One case was that of a young Mexican, Rafael 
Ortiz, who had been rounded up by a clever 
deputy marshal in the act of passing a counter- 
feit silver dollar. He had been suspected of 



8o One Dollar's Worth 

^many such deviations from rectitude, but this- 
was the first time that anything provable had 
been fixed upon him. Ortiz languished cozily 
in jail, smoking brown cigarettes and waiting 
for trial. Kilpatrick, the deputy, brought the 
counterfeit dollar and handed it to the district 
attorney in his office in the court-house. The 
deputy and a reputable druggist were pre- 
pared to swear that Ortiz paid for a bottle of 
medicine with it. The coin was a poor coun- 
terfeit, soft, dull-looking, and made principally 
of lead. It was the day before the morning 
on which the docket would reach the case of 
Ortiz, and the district attorney was preparing 
himself for trial. 

"Not much need of having in high-priced 
experts to prove the coin's queer, is there, 
Kil?" smiled Littlefield, as he thumped the 
dollar down upon the table, where it fell with 
no more ring than would have come from a 
lump of putty. 

" I guess the Greaser's as good as behind the 
bars," said the deputy, easing up his holsters. 
"You've got him dead. If it had been just 
one time, these Mexicans can't tell good 
money from bad; but this little yaller rascal 
belongs to a gang of counterfeiters, I know. 



One Dollar's Worth 81 

This is the first time I've been able to catch 
him doing the trick. He's got a girl down 
there in them Mexican jacals on the river 
bank. I seen her one day when I was watch- 
ing him. She's as pretty as a red heifer in a 
flower bed." 

Littlefield shoved the counterfeit dollar 
into his pocket, and slipped his memoranda 
of the case into an envelope. Just then a 
bright, winsome face, as frank and jolly as a 
boy's, appeared in the doorway, and in 
walked Nancy Derwent. 

"Oh, Bob, didn't court adjourn at twelve to- 
day until to-morrow?" she asked of Littlefield. 

"It did," said the district attorney, "and 
Fm very glad of it. I've got a lot of rulings 
to look up, and 

"Now, that's just like you. I wonder you 
and father don't turn to law books or rulings 
or something! I want you to take me out 
plover-shooting this afternoon. Long Prairie 
is just alive with them. Don't say no, please! 
I want to try my new twelve-bore hammerless. 
I've sent to the livery stable to engage Fly 
and Bess for the buckboard; they stand fire 
so nicely. I was sure you would go." 

They were to be married in the fall. The 



82 One Dollar's Worth 

glamour was at its height. The plovers won 
the day or, rather, the afternoon over the 
calf-bound authorities. Littlefield began to 
put his papers away. 

There was a knock at the door. Kilpatrick 
answered it. A beautiful, dark-eyed girl 
with a skin tinged with the faintest lemon 
colour walked into the room. A black shawl 
was thrown over her head and wound once 
around her neck. 

She began to talk in Spanish, a voluble, 
mournful stream of melancholy music. Lit- 
tlefield did not understand Spanish. The 
deputy did, and he translated her talk by por- 
tions, at intervals holding up his hand to check 
the flow of her words. 

" She came to see you, Mr. Littlefield. Her 
name's Joya Trevifias. She wants to see you 
about well, she's mixed up with that Rafael 
Ortiz. She's his she's his girl. She says 
he's innocent. She says she made the money 
and got him to pass it. Don't you believe 
her, Mr. Littlefield. That's the way with 
these Mexican girls; they'll lie, steal, or kill for 
a fellow when they get stuck on him. Never 
trust a woman that's in love!" 

"Mr. Kilpatrick!" 



One Dollar's Worth 83 

Nancy Derwent's indignant exclamation 
caused the deputy to flounder for a moment 
in attempting to explain that he had mis- 
quoted his own sentiments, and then he went 
on with the translation: 

"She says she's willing to take his place in 
the jail if you'll let him out. She says she 
was down sick with the fever, and the doctor 
said she'd die if she didn't have medicine. 
That's why he passed the lead dollar on the 
drug store. She says it saved her life. This 
Rafael seems to be her honey, all right ; there's 
a lot of stuff in her talk about love and such 
things that you don't want to hear." 

It was an old story to the district attorney. 

"Tell her," said he, "that I can do nothing. 
The case comes up in the morning, and he will 
have to make his fight before the court." 

Nancy Derwent was not so hardened. She 
was looking with sympathetic interest at Joya 
Trevinas and at Littlefield alternately. The 
deputy repeated the district attorney's words 
to the girl. She spoke a sentence or two in a 
low voice, pulled her shawl closely about her 
face, and left the room. 

"What did she say then?" asked the dis- 
trict attorney. 



84 One Dollar's Worth 

"Nothing special," said the deputy. "She 
said: 'If the life of the one' let's see how it 
went 'Si la vida de ella a quien in amas if 
the life of the girl you love is ever in danger, 
remember Rafael Ortiz. 5 ' 

Kilpatrick strolled out through the corridor 
in the direction of the marshal's office. 

"Can't you do anything for them, Bob?" 
asked Nancy. "It's such a little thing just 
one counterfeit dollar to ruin the happiness 
of two lives! She was in danger of death, 
and he did it to save her. Doesn't the law 
know the feeling of pity?" 

"It hasn't a place in jurisprudence, Nan," 
said Littlefield, "especially in re the district 
attorney's duty. I'll promise you that the 
prosecution will not be vindictive; but the 
man is as good as convicted when the case is 
called. Witnesses will swear to his passing 
the bad dollar which I have in my pocket at 
this moment as ' Exhibit A/ There are no 
Mexicans on the jury, and it will vote Mr. 
Greaser guilty without leaving the box." 

The plover-shooting was fine that after- 
noon, and in the excitement of the sport the 
case of Rafael and the grief of Joya Trevinas 






One Dollar's Worth 85 

was forgotten. The district attorney and 
Nancy Derwent drove out from the town three 
miles along a smooth, grassy road, and then 
struck across a rolling prairie toward a heavy 
line of timber on Piedra Creek. Beyond this 
creek lay Long Prairie, the favourite haunt 
of the plover. As they were nearing the 
creek they heard the galloping of a horse to 
their right, and saw a man with black hair 
and a swarthy face riding toward the woods 
at a tangent, as if he had come up behind 
them. 

"I've seen that fellow somewhere," said 
Littlefield, who had a memory for faces, "but 
I can't exactly place him. Some ranchman, 
I suppose, taking a short cut home." 

They spent an hour on Long Prairie, shoot- 
ing from the buckboard. Nancy Derwent, 
an active, outdoor Western girl, was pleased 
with her twelve-bore. She had bagged within 
two brace of her companion's score. 

They started homeward at a gentle trot. 
When within a hundred yards of Piedra Creek 
a man rode out of the timber directly toward 
them. 

" It looks like the man we saw coming over," 
remarked Miss Derwent. 



86 One Dollar's Worth 

As the distance between them lessened, the 
district attorney suddenly pulled up his team 
sharply, with his eyes fixed upon the advanc- 
ing horseman. That individual had drawn 
a Winchester from its scabbard on his saddle 
and thrown it over his arm. 

"Now I know you, Mexico Sam!" muttered 
Littlefield to himself. "It was you who shook 
your rattles in that gentle epistle." 

Mexico Sam did not leave things long in 
doubt. He had a nice eye in all matters re- 
lating to firearms, so when he was within 
good rifle range, but outside of danger from 
No. 8 shot, he threw up his Winchester and 
opened fire upon the occupants of the buck- 
board. 

The first shot cracked the back of the seat 
within the two-inch space between the shoul- 
ders of Littlefield and Miss Derwent. The 
next went through the dashboard and Little- 
field's trouser leg. 

The district attorney hustled Nancy out 
of the buckboard to the ground. She was a 
little pale, but asked no questions. She had 
the frontier instinct that accepts conditions 
in an emergency without superfluous argu- 
ment. They kept their guns in hand, and 



One Dollar's Worth 87 

Littlefield hastily gathered some handfuls of 
cartridges from the pasteboard box on the 
seat and crowded them into his pockets. 

"Keep behind the horses, Nan," he com- 
manded. "That fellow is a ruffian I sent to 
prison once. He's trying to get even. He 
knows our shot won't hurt him at that dis- 
tance." 

"All right, Bob," said Nancy steadily. 
"I'm not afraid. But you come close, too. 
Whoa, Bess; stand still, now!" 

She stroked Bess's mane. Littlefield stood 
with his gun ready, praying that the desperado 
would come within range. 

But Mexico Sam was playing his vendetta 
along safe lines. He was a bird of different 
feather from the plover. His accurate eye 
drew an imaginary line of circumference 
around the area of danger from bird-shot, and 
upon this line he rode. His horse wheeled 
to the right, and as his victims rounded to 
the safe side of their equine breastwork he 
sent a ball through the district attorney's hat. 
Once he miscalculated in making a detour, 
and overstepped his margin. Littlefield's gun 
flashed, and Mexico Sam ducked his head to 
the harmless patter of the shot. A few of 



88 One Dollar's Worth 

them stung his horse, which pranced promptly 
back to the safety line. 

The desperado fired again. A little cry 
came from Nancy Derwent. Littlefield 
whirled, with blazing eyes, and saw the blood 
trickling down her cheek. 

"I'm not hurt, Bob only a splinter struck 
me. I think he hit one of the wheel-spokes." 

"Lord!" groaned Littlefield. "If I only 
had a charge of buckshot!" 

The ruffian got his horse still, and took 
careful aim. Fly gave a snort and fell in 
the harness, struck in the neck. Bess, now 
disabused of the idea that plover were being 
fired at, broke her traces and galloped wildly 
away. Mexico Sam sent a ball neatly 
through the fulness of Nancy Derwent's 
shooting jacket. 

"Lie down lie down!" snapped Little- 
field. " Close to the horse flat on the ground 
so." He almost threw her upon the grass 
against the back of the recumbent Fly. 
Oddly enough, at that moment the words of 
the Mexican girl returned to his mind: 

"If the life of the girl you love is ever in 
danger, remember Rafael Ortiz." 

Littlefield uttered an exclamation. 



One Dollar's Worth 89 

"Open fire on him, Nan, across the horse's 
back! Fire as fast as you can! You can't 
hurt him, but keep him dodging shot for one 
minute while I try to work a little scheme." 

Nancy gave a quick glance at Littlefield, 
and saw him take out his pocket-knife and 
open it. Then she turned her face to obey 
orders, keeping up a rapid fire at the enemy. 

Mexico Sam waited patiently until this 
innocuous fusillade ceased. He had plenty 
of time, and he did not care to risk the chance 
of a bird-shot in his eye when it could be avoided 
by a little caution. He pulled his heavy 
Stetson low down over his face until the 
shots ceased. Then he drew a little nearer, and 
fired with careful aim at what he could see 
of his victims above the fallen horse. 

Neither of them moved. He urged his 
horse a few steps nearer. He saw the dis- 
trict attorney rise to one knee and deliber- 
ately level his shotgun. He pulled his hat 
down and awaited the harmless rattle of the 
tiny pellets. 

The shotgun blazed with a heavy report. 
Mexico Sam sighed, turned limp all over, 
and slowly fell from his horse a dead rattle- 
snake. 



90 One Dollar's Worth 

At ten o'clock the next morning court 
opened, and the case of the United States 
versus Rafael Ortiz was called. The district 
attorney, with his arm in a sling, rose and 
addressed the court. 

"May it please your honour," he said, "I 
desire to enter a nolle pros, in this case. Even 
though the defendant should be guilty, there 
is not sufficient evidence in the hands of the 
government to secure a conviction. The 
piece of counterfeit coin upon the identity 
of which the case was built is not now avail- 
able as evidence. I ask, therefore, that the 
case be stricken off." 

At the noon recess Kilpatrick strolled into 
the district attorney's office. 

"I've just been down to take a squint at 
old Mexico Sam," said the deputy. " They've 
got him laid out. Old Mexico was a tough 
outfit, I reckon. The boys was wonderin' 
down there what you shot him with. Some 
said it must have been nails. I never see a 
gun carry anything to make holes like he 
had." 

"I shot him," said the district attorney, 
"with Exhibit A of your counterfeiting case. 
Lucky thing for me and somebody else 



<0ne Dollar's Worth 91 

that it was as bad money as it was ! It sliced 
up into slugs very nicely. Say, Kil, can't 
you go down to the jacals and find where 
that Mexican girl lives ? Miss Derwent wants 
to know." 



VII 

A CHAPARRAL CHRISTMAS GIFT _ 

THE original cause of the trouble was about 
twenty years in growing. 

At the end of that time it was worth it. 

Had you lived anywhere within fifty miles 
of Sundown Ranch you would have heard of 
it. It possessed a quantity of jet-black hair, 
a pair of extremely frank, deep-brown eyes, 
and a laugh that rippled across the prairie 
like the sound of a hidden brook. The name 
of it was Rosita McMullen; and she was the 
daughter of old man McMullen of the Sun- 
down Sheep Ranch. 

There came riding on red roan steeds or, 
to be more explicit, on a paint and a flea- 
bitten sorrel two wooers. One was Madison 
Lane, and the other was the Frio Kid. But 
at that time they did not call him the Frio 
Kid, for he had not earned the honours of 
special nomenclature. His name was simply 
Johnny McRoy. 



A Chaparral Christmas Gift 93 

It must not be supposed that these two were 
the sum of the agreeable Rosita's admirers. 
The bronchos of a dozen others champed their 
bits at the long hitching rack of the Sundown 
Ranch. Many were the sheep-eyes that were 
cast in those savannas that did not belong to 
the flocks of Dan McMullen. But of all the 
cavaliers, Madison Lane and Johnny McRoy 
galloped far ahead, wherefore they are to be 
chronicled. 

Madison Lane, a young cattleman from the 
Nueces country, won the race. He and Rosita 
were married one Christmas day. Armed, 
hilarious, vociferous, magnanimous, the cow- 
men and the sheepmen, laying aside their 
hereditary hatred, joined forces to celebrate 
the occasion. 

Sundown Ranch was sonorous with the 
cracking of jokes and sixshooters, the shine 
of buckles and bright eyes, the outspoken 
congratulations of the herders of kine. 

But while the wedding feast was at its 
liveliest there descended upon it Johnny 
McRoy, bitten by jealousy, like one pos- 
sessed. 

"I'll give you a Christmas present," he 
yelled, shrilly, at the door, with his .45 in 



94 A Chaparral Christmas Gift 

his hand. Even then he had some reputation 
as an offhand shot. 

His first bullet cut a neat underbit in Mad- 
ison Lane's right ear. The barrel of his gun 
moved an inch. The next shot would have 
been the bride's had not Carson, a sheepman, 
possessed a mind with triggers somewhat well 
oiled and in repair. The guns of the wedding 
party had been hung, in their belts, upon 
nails in the wall when they sat at table, as a 
concession to good taste. But Carson, with 
great promptness, hurled his plate of roast 
venison and frijoles at McRoy, spoiling his 
aim. The second bullet, then, only shattered 
the white petals of a Spanish dagger flower 
suspended two feet above Rosita's head. 

The guests spurned their chairs and jumped 
for their weapons. It was considered an im- 
proper act to shoot the bride and groom at a 
wedding. In about six seconds there were 
twenty or so bullets due to be whizzing in the 
direction of Mr. McRoy. 

, "I'll shoot better next time," yelled Johnny; 
"and there'll be a next time." He backed 
rapidly out the door. 

Carson, the sheepman, spurred on to at- 
tempt further exploits by the success of his 




A Chaparral Christmas Gift 95 

plate-throwing, was first to reach the door. 
McRoy's bullet from the darkness laid him 
low. 

The cattlemen then swept out upon him, 
calling for vengeance, for, while the slaughter 
of a sheepman has not always lacked con- 
donement, it was a decided misdemeanour in 
this instance. Carson was innocent; he was 
no accomplice at the matrimonial proceedings; 
nor had any one heard him quote the line 
"Christmas comes but once a year" to the 
guests. 

But the sortie failed in its vengeance. 
McRoy was on his horse and away, shouting 
back curses and threats as he galloped into the 
concealing chaparral. 

That night was the birthnight of the Frio 
Kid. He became the "bad man" of that por- 
tion of the State. The rejection of his suit 
by Miss McMullen turned him to a dangerous 
man. When officers went after him for the 
shooting of Carson, he killed two of them, and 
entered upon the life of an outlaw. He be- 
came a marvellous shot with either hand. 
He would turn up in towns and settlements, 
raise a quarrel at the slightest opportunity, 
pick off his man, and laugh at the officers of the 



96 A Chaparral Christmas Gift 

law. He was so cool, so deadly, so rapid, so 
inhumanly blood-thirsty that none but faint 
attempts were ever made to capture him. 
When he was at last shot and killed by a little 
one-armed Mexican who was nearly dead him- 
self from fright, the Frio Kid had the deaths 
of eighteen men on his head. About half of 
these were killed in fair duels depending upon 
the quickness of the draw. The other half 
were men whom he assassinated from absolute 
wantonness and cruelty. 

Many tales are told along the border of his 
impudent courage and daring. But he was 
not one of the breed of desperadoes who have 
seasons of generosity and even of softness. 
They say he never had mercy on the object of 
his anger. Yet at this and every Christmas- 
tide it is well to give each one credit, if it can 
be done, for whatever speck of good he may 
have possessed. If the Frio Kid ever did a 
kindly act or felt a throb of generosity in his 
heart it was once at such a time and season, 
and this is the way it happened. 

One who has been crossed in love should 
never breathe the odour from the blossoms of 
the ratama tree. It stirs the memory to a 
dangerous degree. 



A Chaparral Christmas Gift 97 

One December in the Frio country there 
was a ratama tree in full bloom, for the winter 
had been as warm as springtime. That way 
rode the Frio Kid and his satellite and co- 
murderer, Mexican Frank. The kid reined in 
his mustang, and sat in his saddle, thoughtful 
and grim, with dangerously narrowing eyes. 
The rich, sweet scent touched him somewhere 
beneath his ice and iron. 

"I don't know what I've been thinking 
about, Mex," he remarked in his usual mild 
drawl, "to have forgot all about a Christmas 
present I got to give. I'm going to ride over 
to-morrow night and shoot Madison Lane in 
his own house. He got my girl Rosita 
would have had me if he hadn't cut into the 
game. I wonder why T happened to overlook 
it up to now?" 

"Ah, shucks, Kid," said Mexican, "don't 
talk foolishness. You know you can't get 
within a mile of Mad Lane's house to-morrow 
night. I see old man Allen day before yester- 
day, and he says Mad is going to have Christ- 
mas doings at his house. You remember how 
you shot up the festivities when Mad was 
married, and about the threats you made? 
Don't you suppose Mad Lane'll kind of keep 



98 A Chaparral Christmas Gift 

his eye open for a certain Mr. Kid? You 
plumb make me tired, Kid, with such re- 
marks." 

"I'm going," repeated the Frio Kid, with- 
out heat, "to go to Madison Lane's Christmas 
doings, and kill him. I ought to have done it 
a long time ago. Why, Mex, just two weeks 
ago I dreamed me and Rosita was married 
instead of her and him; and we was living in a 
house, and I could see her smiling at me, and 

oh! h 1, Mex, he got her; and I'll get 

him yes, sir, on Christmas Eve he got her, 
and then's when I'll get him." 

"There's other ways of committing suicide," 
advised Mexican. ''Why don't you go and 
surrender to the sheriff?" 

"I'll get him," said the Kid. 

Christmas Eve fell as balmy as April. 
Perhaps there was a hint of far-away frostiness 
in the air, but it tingled like seltzer, perfumed 
faintly with late prairie blossoms and the mes- 
quite grass. 

When night came the five or six rooms of the 
ranch-house were brightly lit. In one room 
was a Christmas tree, for the Lanes had a 
boy of three, and a dozen or more guests were 
expected from the nearer ranches. 



A Chaparral Christmas Gift 99 

At nightfall Madison Lane called aside 
Jim Belcher and three other cowboys em- 
ployed on his ranch. 

"Now, boys," said Lane, "keep your eyes 
open. Walk around the house and watch the 
road well. All of you know the Trio Kid,' 
as they call him now, and if you see him, open 
fire on him without asking any questions. 
I'm not afraid of his coming around, but 
Rosita is. She's been afraid he'd come in on 
us every Christmas since we were married." 

The guests had arrived in buckboards and 
on horseback, and were making themselves 
comfortable inside. 

The evening went along pleasantly. The 
guests enjoyed and praised Rosita's excellent 
supper, and afterward the men scattered in 
groups about the rooms or on the broad 
" gallery," smoking and chatting. 

The Christmas tree, of course, delighted the 
youngsters, and above all were they pleased 
Vvhen Santa Claus himself in magnificent white 
beard and furs appeared and began to dis- 
tribute the toys. 

"It's my papa," announced Billy Sampson, 
aged six. " I've seen him wear 'em before." 

Berkly, a sheepman, an old friend of Lane, 



ioo A Chaparral Christmas Gift 

stopped Rosita as she was passing by him on 
the gallery, where he was sitting smoking. 

"Well, Mrs. Lane," said he, "I suppose by 
this Christmas you've gotten over being 
afraid of that fellow McRoy, haven't you? 
Madison and I have talked about it, you 
know." 

"Very nearly," said Rosita, smiling, "but 
I am still nervous sometimes. I shall never 
forget that awful time when he came so near 
to killing us." 

"He's the most cold-hearted villain in the 
world," said Berkly. "The citizens all along 
the border ought to turn out and hunt him 
down like a wolf." 

"He has committed awful crimes," said 
Rosita, "but I don't know. I think there 
is a spot of good somewhere in everybody. 
He was not always bad that I know." 

Rosita turned into the hallway between 
the rooms. Santa Claus, in muffling whiskers 
and furs, was just coming through. 

"I heard what you said through the win- 
dow, Mrs. Lane," he said. "I was just going 
down in my pocket for a Christmas present 
for your husband. But I've left one for you, 
instead. It's in the room to your right." 



A Chaparral Christmas Gift 101 

"Oh, thank you, kind Santa Claus," said 
Rosita brightly. 

Rosita went, into the room, while Santa 
Claus stepped into the cooler air of the yard. 

She found no one in the room but Madison. 

"Where is my present that Santa said he 
left for me in here?" she asked. 

"Haven't seen anything in the way of a 
present," said her husband, laughing, "un- 
less he could have meant me." 

The next day Gabriel Radd, the foreman 
of the X O Ranch, dropped into the post- 
office at Loma Alta. 

"Well, the Frio Kid's got his dose of lead 
at last," he remarked to the postmaster. 

"That so? How'd it happen?" 

"One of old Sanchez's Mexican sheep herd- 
ers did it! think of it! the Frio Kid killed by 
a sheep herder! The Greaser saw him riding 
along past his camp about twelve o'clock last 
night, and was so skeered that he up with a 
Winchester and let him have it. Funniest 
part of it was that the Kid was dressed all 
up with white Angora-skin whiskers and a 
regular Santy Claus rig-out from head to 
foot. Think of the Frio Kid playing Santy!" 



VIII 

THE ROADS WE TAKE 

TWENTY miles west of Tucson the "Sunset 
Express" stopped at a tank to take on water. 
Besides the aqueous addition the engine of 
that famous flyer acquired some other things 
that were not good for it. 

While the fireman was lowering the feeding 
hose, Bob Tidball, "Shark" Dodson, and a 
quarter-bred Creek Indian called John Big 
Dog climbed on the engine and showed the 
engineer three round orifices in pieces of 
ordnance that they carried. These orifices 
so impressed the engineer with their possibili- 
ties that he raised both hands in a gesture 
such as accompanies the ejaculation "Do 
tell!" 

At the crisp command of Shark Dodson, 
who was leader of the attacking force, the 
engineer descended to the ground and un- 
coupled the engine and tender. Then John 
Big Dog, perched upon the coal, sportively 

102 



The Roads We Take 103 

held two guns upon the engine driver and the 
fireman, and suggested that they run the 
engine fifty yards away and there await further 
orders. 

Shark Dodson and Bob Tidball, scorning 
to put such low-grade ore as the passengers 
through the mill, struck out for the rich pocket 
of the express car. They found the messenger 
serene in the belief that the "Sunset Express" 
was taking on nothing more stimulating and 
dangerous than aqua pura. While Bob was 
knocking this idea out of his head with the 
butt-end of his six-shooter Shark Dodson 
was already dosing the express-car safe with 
dynamite. 

The safe exploded to the tune of $30,000, 
all gold and currency. The passengers thrust 
their heads casually out of the windows to 
look for the thunder-cloud. The conductor 
jerked at the t>ell-rope, which sagged down, 
loose and unresisting, at his tug. Shark Dod- 
son and Bob Tidball, with their booty in a 
stout canvas bag, tumbled out of the express 
car and ran awkwardly in their high-heeled 
boots to the engine. 

The engineer, sullenly angry but wise, ran 
the engine, according to orders, rapidly away 



104 The Roads We Take 

from the inert train. But before this was ac- 
complished the express messenger, recovered 
from Bob Tidball's persuader to neutrality, 
jumped out of his car with a Winchester rifle 
and took a trick in the game. Mr. John 
Big Dog, sitting on the coal tender, unwittingly 
made a wrong lead by giving an imitation of 
a target, and the messenger trumped him. 
With a ball exactly between his shoulder- 
blades the Creek chevalier of industry rolled 
off to the ground, thus increasing the share of 
his comrades in the loot by one-sixth each. 

Two miles from the tank the engineer was 
ordered to stop. 

The robbers waved a defiant adieu and 
plunged down the steep slope into the thick 
woods that lined the track. Five minutes of 
crashing through a thicket of chaparral 
brought them to open woods, where three 
horses were tied to low-hanging branches. 
One was waiting for John Big Dog, who 
would never ride by night or day again. 
This animal the robbers divested of saddle 
and bridle and set free. They mounted the 
other two with the bag across one pommel, 
and rode fast and with discretion through 
the forest and up a primeval, lonely gorge. 



The Roads We Take 105 

Here the animal that bore Bob Tidball slipped 
on a mossy boulder and broke a foreleg. They 
shot him through the head at once and sat 
down to hold a council of flight. Made se- 
cure for the present by the tortuous trail they 
had travelled, the question of time was no 
longer so big. Many miles and hours lay 
between them and the spryest posse that could 
follow. Shark Dodson's horse, with trailing 
rope and dropped bridle, panted and cropped 
thankfully of the grass along the stream in 
the gorge. Bob Tidball opened the sack, 
drew out double handfuls of the neat packages 
of currency and the one sack of gold and 
chuckled with the glee of a child. 

"Say, you old double-decked pirate," he 
called joyfully to Dodson, "you said we could 
do it you got a head for financing that 
knocks the horns off of anything in Arizona." 

"What are we going to do about a hoss 
for you, Bob? We ain't got long to wait 
here. They'll be on our trail before daylight 
in the mornin'." 

"Oh, I guess that cayuse of yourn'll carry 
double for a while," answered the sanguine 
Bob. "We'll annex the first animal we come 
across. By jingoes, we made a haul, didn't 



io6 The Roads We Take 

we? Accordin' to the marks on this money 
there's $30,000 $15,000 apiece !" 

"It's short of what I expected," said Shark 
Dodson, kicking softly at the packages with 
the toe of his boot. And then he looked pen- 
sively at the wet sides of his tired horse. 

"Old Bolivar's mighty nigh played out," 
he said slowly. "I wish that sorrel of yours 
hadn't got hurt." 

"So do I," said Bob, heartily, "but it can't 
be helped. Bolivar's got plenty of bottom 
he'll get us both far enough to get fresh 
mounts. Dang it, Shark, I can't help thinkin' 
how funny it is that an Easterner like you 
can come out here and give us Western fellows 
cards and spades in the desperado business. 
What part of the East was you from, any- 
way?" 

"New York State," said Shark Dodson, 
sitting down on a boulder and chewing a twig. 
"I was born on a farm in Ulster County. I 
ran away from home when I was seventeen. 
It was an accident my comin' West. I was 
walkin' along the road with my clothes in 
a bundle, makin' for New York City. I had 
an idea of goin' there and makin' lots of money. 
I always felt like I could do it. I came to a 



The Roads We Take 107 

place one evenin' where the road forked and 
I didn't know which fork to take. I studied 
about it for half an hour, and then I took 
the left hand. That night I run into the camp 
of a Wild West show that was travellin' 
among the little towns, and I went West with 
it. I've often wondered if I wouldn't have 
turned out different if I'd took the other road." 

"Oh, I reckon you'd have ended up about 
the same," said Bob Tidball, cheerfully philo- 
sophical. "It ain't the roads we take; it's 
what's inside of us that makes us turn out 
the way we do." 

Shark Dodson got up and leaned against a 
tree. 

" I'd a good deal rather that sorrel of yourn 
hadn't hurt himself, Bob," he said again, al- 
most pathetically. 

"Same here," agreed Bob; "he was sure a 
first-rate kind of a crowbait. But Bolivar, 
he'll pull us through all right. Reckon we'd 
better be movin' on, hadn't we, Shark? I'll 
bag this boodle ag'in and we'll hit the trail 
for higher timber." 

Bob Tidball replaced the spoil in the bag 
and tied the mouth of it tightly with a cord. 
When he looked up the most prominent ob- 



io8 The Roads We Take 

ject that he saw was the muzzle of Shark 
Dodson's .45 held upon him without a waver. 

" Stop your funnin'," said Bob, with a grin. 
"We got to be hittin' the breeze." 

"Set still," said Shark. "You ain't goin' 
to hit no breeze, Bob. I hate to tell you, 
but there ain't any chance for but one of us. 
Bolivar, he's plenty tired, and he can't carry 
double." 

"We been pards, me and you, Shark 
Dodson, for three year," Bob said quietly. 
"We've risked our lives together time and 
again. I've always give you a square deal, 
and I thought you was a man. I've heard 
some queer stories about you shootin' one or 
two men in a peculiar way, but I never be- 
lieved 'em. Now if you're just havin' a little 
fun with me, Shark, put your gun up, and 
we'll get on Bolivar and vamose. If you 
mean to shoot shoot, you blackhearted son 
of a tarantula!" 

Shark Dodson's face bore a deeply sorrow- 
ful look. 

"You don't know how bad I feel," he 
sighed, "about that sorrel of yourn breakin' 
his leg, Bob." 

The expression on Dodson's face changed in 



The Roads We Take 109 

an instant to one of cold ferocity mingled with 
inexorable cupidity. The soul of the man 
showed itself for a moment like an evil face in 
the window of a reputable house. 

Truly Bob Tidball was never to "hit the 
breeze" again. The deadly .45 of the false 
friend cracked and filled the gorge with a roar 
that the walls hurled back with indignant 
echoes. And Bolivar, unconscious accom- 
plice, swiftly bore away the last of the holders- 
up of the "Sunset Express," not put to the 
stress of "carrying double." 

But as "Shark" Dodson galloped away the 
woods seemed to fade from his view; the re- 
volver in his right hand turned to the curved 
arm of a mahogany chair; his saddle was 
strangely upholstered, and he opened his eyes 
and saw his feet, not in stirrups, but resting 
quietly on the edge of a quartered-oak desk. 

I am telling you that Dodson, of the firm 
of Dodson & Decker, Wall Street brokers, 
opened his eyes. Peabody, the confidential 
clerk, was standing by his chair, hesitating 
to speak. There was a confused hum of 
wheels below, and the sedative buzz of an 
electric fan. 



1 10 The Roads We Take 

"Ahem! Peabody," said Dodson, blinking. 
"I must have fallen asleep. I had a most 
remarkable dream. What is it, Peabody?" 

"Mr. Williams, sir, of Tracy & Williams, is 
outside. He has come to settle his deal in 
X. Y. Z. The market caught him short, sir, 
if you remember." 

"Yes, I remember. What is X. Y. Z. 
quoted at to-day, Peabody?" 

"One eighty-five, sir." 

"Then that's his price." 

"Excuse me," said Peabody, rather ner- 
vously, "for speaking of it, but I've been talk- 
ing to Williams. He's an old friend of yours, 
Mr. Dodson, and you practically have a corner 
in X. Y. Z. I thought you might that is, I 
thought you might not remember that he sold 
you the stock at 98. If he settles at the market 
price it will take every cent he has in the world 
and his home, too, to deliver the shares." 

The expression on Dodson's face changed in 
an instant to one of cold ferocity mingled with 
inexorable cupidity. The soul of the man 
showed itself for a moment like an evil face in 
the window of a reputable house. 

"He will settle at one eighty-five," said 
Dodson. "Bolivar cannot carry double." 



IX 

NEW YORK BY CAMP FIRE LIGHT 

AWAY out in the Creek Nation we learned 
things about New York. 

We were on a hunting trip, and were camped 
one night on the bank of a little stream. 
Bud Kingsbury was our skilled hunter and 
guide, and it was from his lips that we had 
explanations of Manhattan and the queer 
folks that inhabit it. Bud had once spent a 
month in the metropolis, and a week or two at 
other times, and he was pleased to discourse 
to us of what he had seen. 

Fifty yards away from our camp was 
pitched the teepee of a wandering family of 
Indians that had come up and settled there 
for the night. An old, old Indian woman 
was trying to build a fire under an iron pot 
hung upon three sticks. 

Bud went over to her assistance, and soon had 
her fire going. When he came back we com- 
plimented him playfully upon his gallantry. 
in 



H2 New York by Camp Fire Light 

"Oh," said Bud, "don't mention it. It's 
a way I have. Whenever I see a lady trying 
to cook things in a pot and having trouble I 
always go to the rescue. I done the same 
thing once in a high-toned house in New York 
City. Heap big society teepee on Fifth 
Avenue. That Injun lady kind of recalled it 
to my mind. Yes, I endeavours to be polite 
and help the ladies out." 

The camp demanded the particulars. 

"I was manager of the Triangle B Ranch in 
the Panhandle," said Bud. "It was owned at 
that time by old man Sterling, of New York. 
He wanted to sell out, and he wrote for me to 
come on to New York and explain the ranch to 
thesyndicate that wanted to buy. So I sends to 
Fort Worth and has a forty-dollar suit of clothes 
made, and hits the trail for the big village. 

"Wellj when I got there, old man Sterling 
and his outfit certainly laid themselves out to 
be agreeable. We had business and pleasure 
so mixed up that you couldn't tell whether it 
was a treat or a trade half the time. We had 
trolley rides, and cigars, and theatre round- 
ups, and rubber parties." 

"Rubber parties?" said a listener inquir- 
ingly. 



New York by Camp Fire Light 113 

"Sure," said Bud. "Didn't you never 
attend 'em? You walk around and try to 
look at the tops of the skyscrapers. Well, 
we sold the ranch, and old man Sterling asks 
me 'round to his house to take grub on the 
night before I started back. It wasn't any 
high-collared affair just me and the old man 
and his wife and daughter. But they was a 
fine-haired outfit all right, and the lilies of 
the field wasn't in it. They made my Fort 
Worth clothes carpenter look like a dealer in 
horse blankets and gee strings. And then 
the table was all pompous with flowers, and 
there was a whole kit of tools laid out beside 
everybody's plate. You'd have thought you 
was fixed out to burglarize a restaurant before 
you could get your grub. But I'd been in 
New York over a week then, and I was getting 
on to stylish ways. I kind of trailed behind 
and watched the others use the hardware 
supplies, and then I tackled the chuck with the 
same weapons. It ain't much trouble to 
travel with the high-flyers after you find out 
their gait. I got along fine. I was feeling 
cool and agreeable, and pretty soon I was talk- 
ing away fluent as you please, all about the 
ranch and the West, and telling 'em how the 



1 14 New York by Camp Fire Light 

Indians eat grasshopper stew and snakes, and 
you never saw people so interested. 

" But the real joy of that feast was that Miss 
Sterling. Just a little trick she was, not big- 
ger than two bits worth of chewing plug; but 
she had a way about her that seemed to say 
she was the people, and you believed it. And 
yet, she never put on any airs, and she smiled 
at me the same as if I was a millionaire while 
I was telling about a Creek dog feast and 
listened like it was news from home. 

"By and by, after we had eat oysters and 
some watery soup and truck that never was 
in my repertory, a Methodist preacher brings 
in a kind of camp stove arrangement, all 
silver, on long legs, with a lamp under it. 

"Miss Sterling lights up and begins to do 
some cooking right on the supper table. I 
wondered why old man Sterling didn't hire a 
cook, with all the money he had. Pretty 
soon she dished out some cheesy tasting truck 
that she said was rabbit, but I swear there 
had never been a Molly cotton tail in a mile 
of it. 

"The last thing on the programme was 
lemonade. It was brought around in little 
flat glass bowls and set by your plate. I was 






New York by Camp Fire Light 115 

pretty thirsty, and I picked up mine and took 
a big swig of it. Right there was where the 
little lady had made a mistake. She had put 
in the lemon all right, but she'd forgot the 
sugar. The best housekeepers slip up some- 
times. I thought maybe Miss Sterling was 
just learning to keep house and cook that 
rabbit would surely make you think so and 
I says to myself, Tittle lady, sugar or no 
sugar I'll stand by you/ and I raises up my 
bowl again and drinks the last drop of the 
lemonade. And then all the balance of 'em 
picks up their bowls and does the same. And 
then I gives Miss Sterling the laugh proper, 
just to carry it off like a joke, so she wouldn't 
feel bad about the mistake. 

"After we all went into the sitting room she 
sat down and talked to me quite awhile. 

"'It was so kind of you, Mr. Kingsbury/ 
says she, 'to bring my blunder off so nicely. 
It was so stupid of me to forget the sugar/ 

"'Never you mind,' says I, 'some lucky 
man will throw his rope over a mighty elegant 
little housekeeper some day, not far from 
here. 

"If you mean me, Mr. Kingsbury/ says she, 
laughing out loud, 'I hope he will be as 



n6 New York by Camp Fire Light 

lenient with my poor housekeeping as you 
have been.' 

"' Don't mention it/ says I. 'Anything 
to oblige the ladies." 

Bud ceased his reminiscences. And then 
some one asked him what he considered the 
most striking and prominent trait of New 
Yorkers. 

"The most visible and peculiar trait of 
New York folks/' answered Bud, "is New 
York. Most of 'em has New York on the 
brain. They have heard of other places, 
such as Waco, and Paris, and Hot Springs, 
and London; but they don't believe in 'em. 
They think that town is all Merino. Now to 
show you how much they care for their village 
I'll tell you about one of 'em that strayed out 
as far as the Triangle B while I was working 
there. 

"This New Yorker come out there looking 
for a job on the ranch. He said he was a 
good horseback rider, and there was pieces 
of tanbark hanging on his clothes yet from his 
riding school. 

"Well, for a while they put him to keeping 
books in the ranch store, for he was a devil 
at figures. But he got tired of that, and 



New York by Camp Fire Light 117 

asked for something more in the line of ac- 
tivity. The boys on the ranch liked him all 
right, but he made us tired shouting New 
York all the time. Every night he'd tell us 
about East River and J. P. Morgan and the 
Eden Musee and Hetty Green and Central 
Park till we used to throw tin plates and 
branding irons at him. 

"One day this chap gets on a pitching pony, 
and the pony kind of sidled up his back and 
went to eating grass while the New Yorker 
was coming down. 

"He come down on his head on a chunk of 
mesquite wood, and he didn't show any de- 
signs toward getting up again. We laid him 
out in a tent, and he begun to look pretty 
dead. So Gideon Pease saddles up and 
burns the wind for old Doc Sleeper's residence 
in Dogtown, thirty miles away. 

"The doctor comes over and he investigates 
the patient. 

"Boys/ says he, 'you might as well go to 
playing seven-up for his saddle and clothes, 
for his head's fractured and if he lives ten 
minutes it will be a remarkable case of longe- 
vity.' 

"Of course we didn't gamble for the poor** 



Ii8 New York by Camp Fire Light 

rooster's saddle that was one of Doc's jokes. 
But we stood around feeling solemn, and all 
of us forgive him for having talked us to 
death about New York. 

"I never saw anybody about to hand in 
his checks act more peaceful than this fellow. 
His eyes were fixed 'way up in the air, and 
he was using rambling words to himself all 
about sweet music and beautiful streets and 
white-robed forms, and he was smiling like 
dying was a pleasure. 

" 'He's about gone now,' said Doc. 'When- 
ever they begin to think they see heaven it's 
all off.' 

" Blamed if that New York man didn't sit 
right up when he heard the Doc say that. 

" ' Say,' says he, kind of disappointed, 'was 
that heaven? Confound it all, I thought it 
was Broadway. Some of you fellows get my 
clothes. I'm going to get up.' 

"And I'll be blamed," concluded Bud, "if 
he wasn't on the train with a ticket for New 
York in his pocket four days afterward!" 



X 

THE ADVENTURES OF SHAMROCK JOLNES 

I AM so fortunate as to count Shamrock 
Jolnes, the great New York detective, among 
my muster of friends. Jolnes is what is 
called the "inside man" of the city detective 
force. He is an expert in the use of the 
typewriter, and it is his duty, whenever 
there is a "murder mystery" to be solved, 
to sit at a desk telephone at Headquarters 
and take down the messages of "cranks" 
who 'phone in their confessions to having 
committed the crime. 

But on certain "off" days when confessions 
ark coming in slowly and three or four news- 
papers have run to earth as many different 
guilty persons, Jolnes will knock about the 
town with me, exhibiting, to my great de- 
light and instruction, his marvellous powers 
of observation and deduction. 

The other day I dropped in at Headquarters 
and found the great detective gazing thought- 
119 



I2O The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes 

fully at a string that was tied tightly around 
his little ringer. 

"Good morning, Whatsup," he said, with- 
out turning his head. "I'm glad to notice 
that you've had your house fitted up with 
electric lights at last." 

"Will you please tell me," I said, in sur- 
prise, "how you knew that? I am sure that 
I never mentioned the fact to any one, and 
the wiring was a rush order not completed 
until this morning." 

"Nothing easier," said Jolnes genially. 
"As you came in I caught the odour of the 
cigar you are smoking. I know an expensive 
cigar; and I know that not more than three 
men in New York can afford to smoke cigars 
and pay gas bills, too, at the present time. 
That was an easy one. But I am working 
just now on a little problem of my own." 

"Why have you that string on your finger ?" 
Tasked. 

"That's the problem," said Jolnes. "My 
wife tied that on this morning to remind me of 
something I was to send up to the house. 
Sit down, Whatsup, and excuse me for a few 



moments." 



The distinguished detective went to a wall 



The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes 121 

telephone, and stood with the receiver to his 
ear for probably ten minutes. 

"Were you listening to a confession?" I 
asked, when he had returned to his chair. 

"Perhaps," said Jolnes, with a smile, "it 
might be called something of the sort. To be 
frank with you, Whatsup, I've cut out the 
dope. IVe been increasing the quantity 
for so long that morphine doesn't have much 
effect on me any more. I've got to have 
something more powerful. That telephone 
I just went to is connected with a room in 
the Waldorf where there's an author's read- 
ing in progress. Now, to get at the solution 
of this string." 

After five minutes of silent pondering 
Jolnes looked at me, with a smile, and nodded 
his head. 

"Wonderful man!" I exclaimed; "already?" 

"It is quite simple," he said, holding up his 
finger. "You see that knot? That is to 
prevent my forgetting. It is, therefore, a 
forget-me-knot. A forget-me-not is a flower. 
It was a sack of flour that I was to send 
home!" 

"Beautiful!" I could not help crying out in 
admiration. 



122 The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes 

"Suppose we go out for a ramble/' sug- 
gested Jolnes. " There is only one case of im- 
portance on hand just now. Old man Mc- 
Carty, one hundred and four years old, died 
from eating too many bananas. The evidence 
points so strongly to the Mafia that the police 
have surrounded the Second Avenue Katzen- 
jammer Gambrinus Club No. 2, and the cap- 
ture of the assassin is only the matter of a few 
hours. The detective force has not yet been 
called on for assistance." 

Jolnes and I went out and up the street to- 
ward the corner, where we were to catch a 
surface car. 

Halfway up the block we met Rheingelder, 
an acquaintance of ours, who held a City Hall 
position. 

"Good morning, Rheingelder," said Jolnes, 
halting. 

"Nice breakfast that was you had this 
morning." 

Always on the lookout for the detective's 
remarkable feats of deduction, I saw Jolnes's 
eye flash for an instant upon a long yellow 
splash on the shirt bosom and a smaller one 
upon the chin of Rheingelder both un- 
doubtedly made by the yolk of an egg. 



The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes 123 

"Oh, dot is some of your detectiveness," said 
Rheingelder, shaking all over with a smile. 
" Veil, I pet you trinks and cigars all round dot 
you cannot tell vot I haf eaten for breakfast/' 

"Done," said Jolnes. "Sausage, pumper- 
nickel, and coffee." 

Rheingelder admitted the correctness of the 
surmise and paid the bet. When we had 
proceeded on our way I said to Jolnes : 

"I thought you looked at the egg spilled 
on his chin and shirt front." 

"I did," said Jolnes. "That is where I 
began my deduction. Rheingelder is a very 
economical, saving man. Yesterday eggs 
dropped in the market to twenty-eight cents 
per dozen. To-day they are quoted at forty- 
two. Rheingelder ate eggs yesterday, and 
to-day he went back to his usual fare. A 
little thing like this isn't anything, Whatsup; 
it belongs to the primary arithmetic class." 

When we boarded the street car we found 
the seats all occupied principally by ladies. 
Jolnes and I stood on the rear platform. 

About the middle of the car there sat an 
elderly man with a short, gray beard, who 
looked to be the typical, well-dressed New 
Yorker. At successive corners other ladies 






124 The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes 

climbed aboard, and soon three or four of 
them were standing over the man, clinging 
to straps and glaring meaningly at the man 
who occupied the coveted seat. But he reso- 
lutely retained his place. 

"We New Yorkers," I remarked to Jolnes, 
"have about lost our manners, as far as the 
exercise of them in public goes." 

"Perhaps so," said Jolnes, lightly; "but 
the man you evidently refer to happens to 
be a very chivalrous and courteous gentle- 
man from Old Virginia. He is spending a 
few days in New York with his wife and 
two daughters, and he leaves for the South 
to-night." 

"You know him, then?" I said, in amaze- 
ment. 

"I never saw him before we stepped on the 
car," declared the detective smilingly. 

"By the gold tooth of the Witch of Endor !" 
I cried, "if you can construe all that from his 
appearance you are dealing in nothing else 
than black art." 

"The habit of observation nothing more," 
said Jolnes. "If the old gentleman gets off 
the car before we do, I think I can demon- 
strate to you the accuracy of my deduction." 






The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes 125 

Three blocks farther along the gentleman 
rose to leave the car. Jolnes addressed him 
at the door: 

" Pardon me, sir, but are -you not Colonel 
Hunter, of Norfolk, Virginia?" 

"No, suh," was the extremely courteous 
answer. "My name, suh, is Ellison Major 
Winfield R. Ellison, from Fairfax County, 
in the same state. I know a good many 
people, suh, in Norfolk the Goodriches, the 
Tollivers, and the Crabtrees, suh, but I 
never had the pleasure of meeting yo' friend, 
Colonel Hunter. I am happy to say, suh, 
that I am going back to Virginia to-night, 
after having spent a week in yo' city with 
my wife and three daughters. I shall be 
in Norfolk in about ten days, and if you 
will give me yo' name, suh, I will take 
pleasure in looking up Colonel Hunter and 
teUing him that you inquired after him, 
suh." 

"Thank you," said Jolnes; "tell him that 
Reynolds sent his regards, if you will be so 
kind." 

I glanced at the great New York detective 
and saw that a look of intense chagrin had 
come upon his clear-cut features. Failure 



126 The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes 

in the slightest point always galled Shamrock 
Jolnes. 

"Did you say your three daughters ?" he 
asked of the Virginia gentleman. 

"Yes, suh, my three daughters, all as fine 
girls as there are in Fairfax County," was the 
answer. 

With that Major Ellison stopped the car 
and began to descend the step. 

Shamrock Jolnes clutched his arm. 

"One moment, sir/' he begged, in an urbane 
voice in which I alone detected the anxiety 
"am I not right in believing that one of the 
young ladies is an adopted daughter?" 

"You are, suh," admitted the major, from 
the ground, "but how the devil you knew it, 
suh, is mo' than I can tell." 

"And mo' than I can tell, too," I said, as the 
car went on. 

Jolnes was restored to his calm, observant 
serenity by having wrested victory from his 
apparent failure; so after we got off the car 
he invited me into a cafe, promising to reveal 
the process of his latest wonderful feat. 

"In the first place," he began after we were 
comfortably seated, "I knew the gentlemai 
was no New Yorker because he was flush* 



The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes 127 

and uneasy and restless on account of the 
ladies that were standing, although he did 
not rise and give them his seat. I decided 
from his appearance that he was a Southerner 
rather than a Westerner. 

"Next I began to figure out his reason for 
not relinquishing his seat to a lady when he 
evidently felt strongly, but not overpower- 
ingly, impelled to do so. I very quickly de- 
cided upon that. I noticed that one of his 
eyes had received a severe jab in one corner, 
which was red and inflamed, and that all 
over his face were tiny round marks about 
the size of the end of an uncut lead pencil. 
Also upon both of his patent leather shoes 
were a number of deep imprints shaped like 
ovals cut off square at one end. 

" Now, there is only one district in New York 
City where a man is bound to receive scars 
and wounds and indentations of that sort 
and that is along the sidewalks of Twenty- 
third Street and a portion of Sixth Avenue 
south of there. I knew from the imprints of 
trampling French heels on his feet and the 
marks of countless jabs in the face from um- 
brellas and parasols carried by women in the 
shopping district that he had been in conflict 



128 The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes 

with the amazonian troops. And as he was 
a man of intelligent appearance, I knew he 
would not have braved such dangers unless 
he had been dragged thither by his own wo- 
men folk. Therefore, when he got on the 
car his anger at the treatment he had received 
was sufficient to make him keep his seat in 
spite of his traditions of Southern chivalry." 

"That is all very well," I said, "but why 
did you insist upon daughters and especially 
two daughters? Why couldn't a wife alone 
have taken him shopping?" 

"There had to be daughters," said Jolnes 
calmly. "If he had only a wife, and she 
near his own age, he could have bluffed her 
into going alone. If he had a young wife 
she would prefer to go alone. So there you 



are." 



"I'll admit that," I said; "but, now, why 
two daughters ? And how, in the name of all 
the prophets, did you guess that one was 
adopted when he told you he had three?" 

"Don't say guess," said Jolnes, with a 
touch of pride in his air; "there is no such 
word in the lexicon of ratiocination. In 
Major Ellison's buttonhole there was a carna- 
tion and a rosebud backed by a geranium 



The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes 129 

leaf. No woman ever combined a carnation 
and a rosebud into a boutonniere. Close 
your eyes, Whatsup, and give the logic of 
your imagination a chance. Cannot you see 
the lovely Adele fastening the carnation to 
the lapel so that papa may be gay upon the 
street? And then the romping Edith May 
dancing up with sisterly jealousy to add her 
rosebud to the adornment?" 

"And then," I cried, beginning to feel en- 
thusiasm, "when he declared that he had three 
daughters"- 

"I could see," said Jolnes, "one in the back- 
ground who added no flower; and I knew 
that she must be 

"Adopted!" I broke in. "I give you every 
credit; but how did you know he was leaving 
for the South to-night?" 

"In his breast pocket," said the great de- 
tective, "something large and oval made a 
protuberance. Good liquor is scarce on trains, 
and it is a long journey from New York to 
Fairfax County." 

"Again, I must bow to you," I said. "And 
tell me this, so that my last shred of doubt will 
be cleared away; why did you decide that he 
was from Virginia?" 



130 The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes 

"It was very faint, I admit," answered 
Shamrock Jolnes, "but no trained observer 
could have failed to detect the odour of mint 
in the car." 



XI 

THE SLEUTHS 

IN THE Big City a man will disappear with 
the suddenness and completeness of the flame 
of a candle that is blown out. All the agen- 
cies of inquisition the hounds of the trail, 
the sleuths of the city's labyrinths, the closet 
detectives of theory and induction will be 
invoked to the search. Most often the man's 
face will be seen no more. Sometimes he will 
reappear in Sheboygan or in the wilds of Terre 
Haute, calling himself one of the synonyms 
of "Smith," and without memory of events 
up to a certain time, including his grocer's 
bill. Sometimes it will be found, after drag- 
ging the rivers, and polling the restaurants 
to see if he may be waiting for a well-done 
sirloin, that he has moved next door. 

This snuffing out of a human being like the 
erasure of a chalk man from a blackboard is 
one of the most impressive themes in dram- 
aturgy. 

131 



132 The Sleuths 

The case of Mary Snyder, in point, should 
not be without interest. 

A man of middle age, of the name of Meeks, 
came from the West to New York to find his 
sister, Mrs. Mary Snyder, a widow, aged 
fifty-two, who had been living for a year in a 
tenement house in a crowded neighbourhood. 

At her address he was told that Mary 
Snyder had moved away longer than a month 
before. No one could tell him her new 
address. 

On coming out Mr. Meeks addressed a 
policeman who was standing on the corner, 
and explained his dilemma. 

"My sister is very poor," he said, "and I 
am anxious to find her. I have recently made 
quite a lot of money in a lead mine, and I want 
her to share my prosperity. There is no use 
in advertising her, because she cannot read." 

The policeman pulled his moustache and 
looked so thoughtful and mighty that Meeks 
could almost feel the joyful tears of his sister 
Mary dropping upon his bright blue tie. 

"You go down in the Canal Street neigh- 
bourhood," said the policeman, "and get a 
job drivin' the biggest dray you can find. 
There's old women always gettin' knocked 






The Sleuths 133 

over by drays down there. You might see 
'er among 'em. If you don't want to do that 
you better go 'round to headquarters and get 
'em to put a fly cop onto the dame." 

At police headquarters Meeks received 
ready assistance. A general alarm was sent 
out, and copies of a photograph of Mary 
Snyder that her brother had were distributed 
among the stations. In Mulberry Street 
the chief assigned Detective Mullins to the 
case. 

The detective took Meeks aside and said : 

"This is not a very difficult case to unravel. 
Shave off your whiskers, fill your pockets with 
good cigars, and meet me in the cafe of the 
Waldorf at three o'clock this afternoon." 

Meeks obeyed. He found Mullins there. 
They had a bottle of wine, while the detective 
asked questions concerning the missingwoman. 

"Now," said Mullins, "New York is a big 
city, but we've got the detective business 
systematized. There are two ways we can go 
about finding your sister. We will try one of 
'em first. You say she's fifty-two?" 

"A little past," said Meeks. 

The detective conducted the Westerner to 
a branch advertising office of one of the largest 



r 

134 The Sleuths 

dailies. There he wrote the following "ad" 
and submitted it to Meeks. 

"Wanted, at once one hundred attractive 
chorus girls for a new musical comedy. 
Apply all day at No. - Broadway." 

Meeks was indignant. 

"My sister," said he, "is a poor, hard- 
working, elderly woman. I do not see what 
aid an advertisement of this kind would be 
toward finding her." 

"All right," said the detective. "I guess 
you don't know New York. But if you've 
got a grouch against this scheme we'll try the 
other one. It's a sure thing. But it'll cost 
you more." 

"Never mind the expense," said Meeks; 
"we'll try it." 

The sleuth led him back to the Waldorf. 
"Engage a couple of bedrooms and a parlour," 
he advised, "and let's go up." 

This was done, and th two were shown to a 
superb suite on the fourth floor. Meeks 
looked puzzled. The detective sank into 
a velvet armchair, and pulled out his cigar 
case. 

"I forgot to suggest, old man," he said, 
"that you should have taken the rooms by the 



The Sleuths 135 

month. They wouldn't have stuck you so 
much for 'em." 

"By the month!" exclaimed Meeks. 
"What do you mean?" 

"Oh, it'll take time to work the game this 
way. I told you it would cost you more. 
We'll have to wait till spring. There'll be a 
new city directory out then. Very likely your 
sister's name and address will be in it." 

Meeks rid himself of the city detective at 
once. On the next day some one advised 
him to consult Shamrock Jolnes, New York's 
famous private detective, who demanded 
fabulous fees, but performed miracles in the 
way of solving mysteries and crimes. 

After waiting for two hours in the anteroom 
of the great detective's apartment, Meeks 
was shown into his presence. Jolnes sat in a 
purple dressing-gown at an inlaid ivory chess 
table, with a magazine before him, trying to 
solve the mystery of "They." The famous 
sleuth's thin, intellectual face, piercing eyes, 
and rate per word are too well known to need 
description. 

Meeks set forth his errand. " My fee, if suc- 
cessful, will be $500," said Shamrock Jolnes. 

Meeks bowed his agreement to the price. 



136 The Sleuths 

"I will undertake your case, Mr. Meeks," 
said Jolnes finally. "The disappearance of 
people in this city has always been an interest- 
ing problem to me. I remember a case that I 
brought to a successful outcome a year ago. 
A family bearing the name of Clark dis- 
appeared suddenly from a small flat in which 
they were living. I watched the flat building 
for two months for a clue. One day it struck 
me that a certain milkman and a grocer's boy 
always walked backward when they carried 
their wares upstairs. Following out by in- 
duction the idea that this observation gave 
me, I at once located the missing family. 
They had moved into the flat across the hall 
and changed their name to Kralc." 

Shamrock Jolnes and his client went to the 
tenement house where Mary Snyder had lived, 
and the detective demanded to be shown the 
room in which she had lived. It had been 
occupied by no tenant since her disappear- 
ance. 

The room was small, dingy, and poorly 
furnished. Meeks seated himself dejectedly 
on a broken chair, while the great detective 
searched the walls and floor and the few sticks 
of old, rickety furniture for a clue. 



The Sleuths 137 

At the end of half an hour Jolnes had col- 
lected a few seemingly unintelligible articles 
a cheap black hatpin, a piece torn off a 
theatre programme, and the end of a small 
torn card on which was the word "left" and 
the characters "C 12." 

Shamrock Jolnes leaned against the mantel 
for ten minutes, with his head resting upon 
his hand, and an absorbed look upon his in- 
tellectual face. At the end of that time he 
exclaimed, with animation: 

"Come, Mr. Meeks; the problem is solved. 
I can take you directly to the house where 
your sister is living. And you may have no 
fears concerning her welfare, for she is amply 
provided with funds for the present at least." 

Meeks felt joy and wonder in equal pro- 
portions. 

"How did you manage it?" he asked, with 
admiration in his tones. 

Perhaps Jolnes's only weakness was a pro- 
fessional pride in his wonderful achievements 
in induction. He was ever ready to astound 
and charm his listeners by describing his 
methods. 

"By elimination," said Jolnes, spreading 
his clues upon a little table., " I got rid of cer- 



138 The Sleuths 

tain parts of the city to which Mrs. Snyder 
might have removed. You see this hatpin? 
That eliminates Brooklyn. No woman at- 
tempts to board a car at the Brooklyn Bridge 
without being sure that she carries a hatpin 
with which to fight her way into a seat. And 
now I will demonstrate to you that she could 
not have gone to Harlem. Behind this door 
are two hooks in the wall. Upon one of these 
Mrs. Snyder has hung her bonnet, and upon 
the other her shawl. You will observe that 
the bottom of the hanging shawl has grad- 
ually made a soiled streak against the plastered 
wall. The mark is clean-cut, proving that 
there is no fringe on the shawl. Now, was 
there ever a case where a middle-aged woman, 
wearing a shawl, boarded a Harlem train 
without there being a fringe on the shawl to 
catch in the gate and delay the passengers 
behind her? So we eliminate Harlem. 

"Therefore I conclude that Mrs. Snyder 
has not moved very far away. On this torn 
piece of card you see the word 'Left/ the 
letter 'C/ and the number '12.' Now, I 
happen to know that No. 12 Avenue C is a 
first-class boarding house, far beyond your 
sister's means as we suppose. But then I 



The Sleuths 139 

find this piece of a theatre programme, crum- 
pled into an odd shape. What meaning does 
it convey? None to you, very likely, Mr. 
Meeks; but it is eloquent to one whose habits 
and training take cognizance of the smallest 
things. 

"You have told me that your sister was a 
scrub woman. She scrubbed the floors of 
offices and hallways. Let us assume that she 
procured such work to perform in a theatre. 
Where is valuable jewellery lost the oftenest, 
Mr. Meeks? In the theatres, of course. 
Look at that piece of programme, Mr. Meeks. 
Observe the round impression in it. It has 
been wrapped around a ring perhaps a ring 
of great value. Mrs. Snyder found the ring 
while at work in the theatre. She hastily 
tore off a piece of a programme, wrapped the 
ring carefully, and thrust it into her bosom. 
The next day she disposed of it, and, with her 
increased means, looked about her for a more 
comfortable place in whicrTto live. When I 
reach thus far in the chain I see nothing im- 
possible about No. 12 Avenue C. It is there 
we will find your sister, Mr. Meeks." 

Shamrock Jolnes concluded his convincing 
speech with the smile of a successful artist. 



140 The Sleuths 

Meeks's admiration was too great for words. 
Together they went to No. 12 Avenue C. 
It was an old-fashioned brownstone house in a 
prosperous and respectable neighbourhood. 

They rang the bell, and on inquiring were 
told that no Mrs. Snyder was known there, 
and that not within six months had a new 
occupant come to the house. 

When they reached the sidewalk again, 
Meeks examined the clues which he had 
brought away from his sister's old room. 

"I am no detective," he remarked to Jolnes 
as he raised the piece of theatre programme to 
his nose, "but it seems to me that instead 
of a ring having been wrapped in this paper 
it was one of those round peppermint drops. 
And this piece with the address on it looks to 
me like the end of a seat coupon No. 12, row 
C, left aisle." 

Shamrock Jolnes had a far-away look in 
his eyes. 

"I think you would do well to consult 
Juggins," said he. 

"Who is Juggins?" asked Meeks. 

"He is the leader," said Jolnes, "of a new 
modern school of detectives. Their methods 
are different from ours, but it is said that 






The Sleuths 141 

Juggins has solved some extremely puzzling 
cases. I will take you to him." 

They found the greater Juggins in his office. 
He was a small man with light hair, deeply 
absorbed in reading one of the bourgeois 
works of Nathaniel Hawthorne. 

The two great detectives of different schools 
shook hands with ceremony, and Meeks was 
introduced. 

"State the facts," said Juggins, going on 
with his reading. 

When Meeks ceased, the greater one closed 
his book and said : 

"Do I understand that your sister is fifty- 
two years of age, with a large mole on the side 
of her nose, and that she is a very poor widow, 
making a scanty living by scrubbing, and with 
a very homely face and figure?" 

"That describes her exactly," admitted 
Meeks. Juggins rose and put on his hat. 

"In fifteen minutes," he said, "I will re- 
turn, bringing you her present address." 

Shamrock Jolnes turned pale, but forced a 
smile. 

Within the specified time Juggins returned and 

consulted a little slip of paper held in his hand. 
"Your sister, Mary Snyder," he announced 



142 The Sleuths 

calmly, "will be found at No. 162 Chilton 
Street. She is living in the back hall bed- 
room, five flights up. The house is only 
four blocks from here," he continued, ad- 
dressing Meeks. "Suppose you go and verify 
the statement and then return here. Mr. 
Jolnes will await you, I dare say." 

Meeks hurried away.. In twenty minutes 
he was back again, with a beaming face. 

"She is there and well!" he cried. "Name 
your fee!" 

"Two dollars," said Juggins. 

When Meeks had settled his bill and de- 
parted, Shamrock Jolnes stood with his hat 
in his hand before Juggins. 

"If it would not be asking too much," he 
stammered "if you would favour me so far 
would you object to 

"Certainly not," said Juggins pleasantly. 
"I will tell you how I did it. You remember 
the description of Mrs. Snyder? Did you 
ever know a womcin like that who wasn't 
paying weekly instalments on an enlarged 
crayon portrait of herself? The biggest fac- 
tory of that kind in the country is just around 
the corner. I went there and got her address 
off the books. That's all." 



XII 

THE COP AND THE ANTHEM 

ON HIS bench in Madison Square Soapy 
moved uneasily. When wild geese honk high 
of nights, and when women without sealskin 
coats grow kind to their husbands, and when 
Soapy moves uneasily on his bench in the park, 
you may know that winter is near at hand. 

A dead leaf fell in Soapy's lap. That 
was Jack Frost's card. Jack is kind to the 
regular denizens of Madison Square, and 
gives fair warning of his annual call. At 
the corners of four streets he hands his paste- 
board to the North Wind, footman of the 
mansion of All Outdoors, so that the inhabi- 
tants thereof may make ready. 

Soapy's mind became cognizant of the fact 
that the time had come for him to resolve 
himself into a singular Committee of Ways 
and Means to provide against the coming 
rigour. And therefore he moved uneasily on 
his bench. 

141 



144 The Cop and the Anthem 

The hibernatorial ambitions of Soapy were 
not of the highest. In them there were no 
considerations of Mediterranean cruises, of 
soporific Southern skies, or drifting in the 
Vesuvian Bay. Three months on the Island 
was what his soul craved. Three months 
of assured board and bed and congenial com- 
pany, safe from Boreas and bluecoats, seemed 
to Soapy the essence of things desirable. 

For years the hospitable Blackwell's had 
been his winter quarters. Just as his more 
fortunate fellow New Yorkers had bought 
their tickets to Palm Beach and the Riviera 
each winter, so Soapy had made his humble 
arrangements for his annual hegira to the 
Island. And now the time was come. On 
the previous night three Sabbath newspapers, 
distributed beneath his coat, about his ankles, 
and over his lap, had failed to repulse the 
cold as he slept on his bench near tlie spurting 
fountain in the ancient square. So the Is- 
land loomed big and timely in Soapy's mind. 
He scorned the provisions made in the name 
of charity for the city's dependents. In 
Soapy's opinion the Law was more benign 
than Philanthropy. There was an endless 
round of institutions, municipal and eleemosy- 



The Cop and the Anthem 145 

nary, on which he might set out and receive 
lodging and food accordant with the simple 
life. But to 'one of Soapy's proud spirit 
the gifts of chanty are encumbered. If not 
in coin you must pay in humiliation of spirit 
for every benefit received at the hands of 
philanthropy. As Caesar had his Brutus, 
every bed of charity must have its toll of a 
bath, every loaf of bread its compensation of 
a private and personal inquisition. Where- 
fore it is better to be a guest of the law, which, 
though conducted by rules, does not meddle 
unduly with a gentleman's private affairs. 

Soapy, having decided to go to the Island, 
at once set about accomplishing his desire. 
There were many easy ways of doing this. 
The pleasantest was to dine luxuriously at 
some expensive restaurant; and then, after 
declaring insolvency, be handed over quietly 
and without uproar to a policeman. An 
accommodating magistrate would do the 
rest. 

Soapy left his bench and strolled out of the 
square and across the level sea of asphalt, 
where Broadway and Fifth Avenue flow to- 
gether. Up Broadway he turned, and halted 
at a glittering cafe, where are gathered to- 



146 The Cop and the Anthem 

gether nightly the choicest products of the 
grape, the silkworm, and the protoplasm. 

Soapy had confidence in himself from the 
lowest button of his vest upward. He was 
shaven, and his coat was decent and his neat, 
black, ready-tied four-in-hand had been pre- 
sented to him by a lady missionary on Thanks- 
giving Day. If he could reach a table in the 
restaurant unsuspected success would be his. 
The portion of him that would show above the 
table would raise no doubt in the waiter's 
mind. A roasted mallard duck, thought 
Soapy, would be about the thing with a 
bottle of Chablis, and then Camembert, a 
demi-tasse and a cigar. One dollar for the 
cigar would be enough. The total would not 
be so high as to call forth any supreme mani- 
festation of revenge from the cafe manage- 
ment; and yet the meat would leave him filled 
and happy for the journey to his winter refuge. 

But as Soapy set foot inside the restaurant 
door the head waiter's eye fell upon his frayed 
trousers and decadent shoes. Strong and 
ready hands turned him about and conveyed 
him in silence and haste to the sidewalk and 
averted the ignoble fate of the menaced 
mallard. 



The Cop and the Anthem 147 

Soapy turned off Broadway. It seemed 
tfiat his route to the coveted island was not 
to be an epicurean one. Some other way of 
entering limbo must be thought of. 

At a corner of Sixth Avenue electric lights 
and cunningly displayed wares behind plate- 
glass made a shop window conspicuous. Soapy 
took a cobblestone and dashed it through the 
glass. People came running around the cor- 
ner, a policeman in the lead. Soapy stood still, 
with his hands in his pockets, and smiled at the 
sight of brass buttons. 

"Where's the man that done that?" in- 
quired the officer excitedly. 

" Don't you figure out that I might have had 
something to do with it?" said Soapy, not 
without sarcasm, but friendly, as one greets 
good fortune. 

The policeman's mind refused to accept 
Soapy even as a clue. Men who smash 
windows do not remain to parley with the 
law's minions. They take to their heels. The 
policeman saw a man halfway down the block 
running to catch a car. With drawn club 
he joined in the pursuit. Soapy, with disgust 
in his heart, loafed along, twice unsuccessful. 

On the opposite side of the street was a 




148 The Cop and the Anthem 



v 



restaurant of no great pretensions. It catered 
to large appetites and modest purses. Its 
crockery and atmosphere were thick; its soup 
and napery thin. Into this place Soapy took 
his accusive shoes and telltale trousers with- 
out challenge. At a table Jie sat and con- 
sumed beefsteak, flapjacks, doughnuts," and 
pie. And then to the waiter'he betrayed the 
fact that the minutest coin and himself were 
strangers. 

"Now, get busy and call a cop," said 
Soapy. "And don't keep a gentleman wait- 
ing." 

"No cop for youse," said the waiter, with a 
voice like butter cakes and an eye like the 
cherry in a Manhattan cocktail. "Hey, 
Con!" 

Neatly upon his left ear on the callous pave- 
ment two waiters pitched Soapy. He arose, 
joint by joint, as a carpenter's rule opens, and 
beat the dust from his clothes. Arrest seemed 
but a rosy dream. The Island seemed very 
far away. A policeman who stood before a 
drug store two doors away laughed and walked 
down the street. 

Five blocks Soapy travelled before his 
courage permitted him to woo capture again. 



The Cop and the Anthem 149 

This time the opportunity presented what he 
fatuously termed to himself a "cinch." A 
young woman of a modest and pleasing guise 
was standing before a show window gazing 
with sprightly interest at its display of shav- 
ing mugs and inkstands, and two yards from 
the window a large policeman of severe de- 
meanour leaned against a water plug. 

It was Soapy's design to assume the role 
of the despicable and execrated "masher." 
The refined and elegant appearance of his 
victim and the contiguity of the conscientious 
cop encouraged him to believe that he would 
soon feel the pleasant official clutch upon his 
arm that would insure his winter quarters on 
the right little, tight little isle. 

Soapy straightened the lady missionary's 
ready-made tie, dragged his shrinking cuffs 
into the open, set his hat at a killing cant, and 
sidled toward the young woman. He made 
eyes at her, was taken with sudden coughs 
and "hems," smiled, smirked, and went braz- 
enly through the impudent and contemptible 
litany of the "masher." With half an eye 
Soapy saw that the policeman was watching 
him fixedly. The young woman moved away 
a few steps, and again bestowed her absorbed 



150 The Cop and the Anthem 

attention upon the shaving mugs. Soapy 
followed, boldly stepping to .her side, raised 
his hat and said: 

"Ah there, Bedelia! Don't you want to 
come and play in my yard?" 

The policeman was still looking. The per- 
secuted young woman had but to beckon a 
finger and Soapy would be practically en 
route for his insular haven. Already he 
imagined he could feel the cozy warmth of 
the station-house. The young woman faced 
him and, stretching out a hand, caught Soapy's 
coat sleeve. 

"Sure, Mike," she said joyfully " if you'll 
blow me to a pail of suds. I'd have spoke to 
you sooner, but the cop was watching." 

With the young woman playing the clinging 
ivy to his oak Soapy walked past the police- 
man overcome with gloom. He seemed doomed 
to liberty. 

At the next corner he shook off his com- 
panion and ran. He halted in the district 
where by night are found the lightest streets, 
hearts, vows, and librettos. Women in furs 
and men in greatcoats moved gaily in the 
wintry air. A sudden fear seized Soapy that 
some dreadful enchantment had rendered 



The Cop and the Anthem 151 

him immune to arrest. The thought brought 
a little of panic upon it, and when he came upon 
another policeman lounging grandly in front 
of a transplendent theatre he caught at the 
immediate straw of "disorderly conduct." 

On the sidewalk Soapy began to yell 
drunken gibberish at the top of his harsh 
voice. He danced, howled, raved, and other- 
wise disturbed the welkin. 

The policeman twirled his club, turned his 
back to Soapy, and remarked to a citizen: 

' 'Tis one of them Yale lads celebratin' the 
goose egg they give to the Hartford College. 
Noisy; but no harm. We've instructions to 
lave them be." 

Disconsolate, Soapy ceased his unavailing 
racket. Would never a policeman lay hands 
on him? In his fancy the Island seemed an 
unattainable Arcadia. He buttoned his thin 
coat against the chilling wind. 

In a cigar store he saw a well-dressed man 
lighting a cigar at a swinging light. His silk 
umbrella he had set by the door on entering. 
Soapy stepped inside, secured the umbrella, 
and sauntered off with it slowly The man 
at the cigar light followed hastily. 

"My umbrella," he said sternly. 



152 The Cop and the Anthem 

"Oh, is it?" sneered Soapy, adding insult 
to petit larceny. "Well, why don't you call a 
policeman ? I took it. Your umbrella ! Why 
don't you call a cop ? There stands one on the 



corner." 



The umbrella owner slowed his steps. 
Soapy did likewise, with a presentiment that 
luck would again run against him. The police- 
man looked at the two curiously. 

"Of course," said the umbrella man 
"that is well, you know how these mistakes 
occur I if it's your umbrella I hope you'll 
excuse me I picked it up this morning in a 
restaurant if you recognize it as yours, why 
-I hope you'll- 

"Of course it's mine," said Soapy vi- 
ciously, a 

The ex-umbrella man retreated. The 
policeman hurried to assist a tall blonde in 
an opera cloak across the street in front of 
a street car that was approaching two blocks 
away. 

Soapy walked eastward through a street 
damaged by improvements. He hurled the 
umbrella wrathfully into an excavation. He 
muttered against the men who wear helmets 
and carry clubs. Because he wanted to fall 



The Cop and the Anthem 153 

into their clutches, they seemed to regard him 
as a king who could do no wrong. 

At length Soapy reached one of the avenues 
to the east where the glitter and turmoil was 
but faint. He set his face down this toward 
Madison Square, for the homing instinct 
survives even when the home is a park bench. 

But on an unusually quiet corner Soapy 
came to a standstill. Here was an old church, 
quaint and rambling and gabled. Through 
one violet-stained window a soft light glowed, 
where, no doubt, the organist loitered over 
the keys, making sure of his mastery of the 
coming Sabbath anthem. For there drifted 
out to Soapy's ears sweet music that caught 
and held him transfixed against the convolu- 
tions of the iron fence. 

The moon was above, lustrous and serene; 
vehicles and pedestrians were few; sparrows 
twittered sleepily in the eaves for a little 
while the scene might have been a country 
churchyard. And the anthem that the organ- 
ist played cemented Soapy to the iron fence, 
for he had known it well in the days when 
his life contained such things as mothers and 
roses and ambitions and friends and immacu- 
late thoughts and collars, 



154 The Cop and the Anthem 

The conjunction of Soapy's receptive state 
of mind and the influences about the old 
church wrought a sudden and wonderful 
change in his soul. He viewed with swift 
horror the pit into which he had tumbled, 
the degraded days, unworthy desires, dead 
hopes, wrecked faculties, and base motives 
that made up his existence. 

And also in a moment his heart responded 
thrillingly to this novel mood. An instan- 
taneous and strong impulse moved him to 
battle with his desperate fate. He would 
pull himself out of the mire ; he would make a 
man of himself again; he would conquer the 
evil that had taken possession of him. There 
was time; he was comparatively young yet; 
he would resurrect his old eager ambitions 
and pursue them without faltering. Those 
solemn but sweet organ notes had set up a 
revolution in him. To-morrow he would 
go into the roaring downtown district and 
find work. A fur importer had once offered 
him a place as driver. He would find him 
to-morrow and ask for the position. He 
would be somebody in the world. He 
would 

Soapy felt a hand laid on his arm. He 



The Cop and the Anthem 155 

looked quickly around into the broad face of a 
policeman. 

"What are you doin' here?" asked the 
officer. 

"Nothin'," said Soapy. 

"Then come along," said the policeman. 

"Three months on the Island," said the 
Magistrate in the Police Court the next 
morning. 




XIII 

THE FOREIGN POLICY OF COMPANY 99 

JOHN BYRNES,, hose-cart driver of Engine 
Company No. 99, was afflicted with what his 
comrades called Japanitis. 

Byrnes had a war map spread permanently 
upon a table in the second story of the engine- 
house, and he could explain to you at any 
hour of the day or night the exact positions, 
conditions, and intentions of both the Russian 
and Japanese armies. He had little clus- 
ters of pins stuck in the map which represented 
the opposing forces, and these he moved about 
from day to day in conformity with the war 
news in the daily papers. 

Wherever the Japs won a victory John 
Byrnes would shift his pins, and then he 
would execute a war dance of delight, and 
the other firemen would hear him yell: "Go 
it, you blamed little, sawed-off, huckleberry- 
eyed, monkey-faced hot tamales! Eat 'em 
up, you little sleight-o'-hand, bow-legged bull 
156 



The Foreign Policy of Company 99 157 

terriers give 'em another of them Yalu 
looloos, and you'll eat rice in St. Petersburg. 
Talk about your Russians say, wouldn't 
they give you a painsky when it comes to a 
scrapovitch?" 

Not even on the fair island of Nippon was 
there a more enthusiastic champion of the 
Mikado's men. Supporters of the Russian 
cause did well to keep clear of Engine House 
No. 99. 

Sometimes all thoughts of the Japs left 
John Byrnes's head. That was when the 
alarm of fire had sounded and he was strapped 
in his driver's seat on the swaying cart, guiding 
Erebus and Joe, the finest team in the whole 
department according to the crew of 99. 

Of all the codes adopted by man for regulat- 
ing his actions toward his fellow-mortals, the 
greatest are these the code of King Arthur's 
Knights of the Round Table, the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, and the unwritten 
rules of the New York Fire Department. The 
Round Table methods are no longer prac- 
ticable since the invention of street cars and 
breach-of-promise suits, and our Constitution 
is being found more and more unconstitu- 
tional every day, so the code of our firemen 



158 The Foreign Policy of Company 99 

must be considered in the lead, with the 
Golden Rule and Jeffries's new punch trying 
for place and show. 

The Constitution says that one man is as 
good as another; but the Fire Department 
says he is better. This is a too generous 
theory, but the law will not allow itself to be 
construed otherwise. All of which comes 
perilously near to being a paradox, and com- 
mends itself to the attention of the S. P. C. A. 

One of the transatlantic liners dumped out 
at Ellis Island a lump of protozoa which was 
expected to evolve into an American citizen. 
A steward kicked him down the gangway, -a 
doctor pounced upon his eyes like a raven, 
seeking for trachoma or ophthalmia; he was 
hustled ashore and ejected into the city in 
the name of Liberty perhaps, theoretically, 
thus inoculating against kingocracy with a 
drop of its own virus. This hypodermic in- 
jection of Europeanism wandered happily 
into the veins of the city with the broad grin 
of a pleased child. It was not burdened with 
baggage, cares, or ambitions. Its body was 
lithely built and clothed in a sort of foreign 
fustian; its face was brightly vacant, with a 
small, flat nose, and was mostly covered by a 



The Foreign Policy of Company 99 159 

thick, ragged, curling beard like the coat of a 
spaniel. In the pocket of the imported Thing 
were a few coins denarii scudi kopecks 
pfennigs pilasters whatever the financial 
nomenclature of his unknown country may 
have been. 

Prattling to himself, always broadly grin- 
ning, pleased by the roar and movement of 
the barbarous city into which the steamship 
cut-rates had shunted him, the alien strayed 
away from the sea, which he hated, as far as 
the district covered by Engine Company 
No. 99. Light as a cork, he was kept bobbing 
along by the human tide, the crudest atom in 
all the silt of the stream that emptied into 
the reservoir of Liberty. 

While crossing Third Avenue he slowed his 
steps, enchanted by the thunder of the ele- 
vated trains above him and the soothing crash 
of the wheels on the cobbles. And then 
there was a new, delightful chord in the up- 
roar the musical clanging of a gong and a 
great shining juggernaut belching fire and 
smoke, that people were hurrying to see. 

This beautiful thing, entrancing to the eye, 
dashed past, and the protoplasmic immigrant 
stepped into the wake of it with his broad, 



160 The Foreign Policy of Company 99 

enraptured, uncomprehending grin. And so 
stepping, stepped into the path of No. 99*3 
flying hose-cart, with John Byrnes gripping, 
with arms of steel, the reins over the plunging 
backs of Erebus and Joe. 

The unwritten constitutional code of the 
fireman has no exceptions or amendments. 
It is a simple thing as simple as the rule of 
three. There was the heedless unit in the 
right of way; there was the hose-cart and the 
iron pillar of the elevated railroad. 

John Byrnes swung all his weight and mus- 
cle on the left rein. The team and cart swerved 
that way and crashed like a torpedo into the 
pillar. The men on the cart went flying 
like skittles. The driver's strap burst, the 
pillar rang with the shock, and John Byrnes 
fell on the car track with a broken shoulder, 
twenty feet away, while Erebus beautiful, 
raven-black, best-loved Erebus lay whicker- 
ing in his harness with a broken leg. 

In consideration for the feelings of Engine 
Company No. 99 the details will be lightly 
touched. The company does not like to be 
reminded of that day. There was a great 
crowd, and hurry calls were sent in ; and while 
the ambulance gong was clearing the way the 



The Foreign Policy of Company 99 161 

men of No. 99 heard the crack of the S. P. 
C. A. agent's pistol, and turned their heads 
away, not daring to look toward Erebus again. 

When the firemen got back to the engine- 
house they found that one of them was^drag- 
ging by the collar the cause of their desolation 
and grief. They set it in the middle of the 
floor and gathered grimly about it. Through 
its whiskers the calamitous object chattered 
effervescently and waved its hands. 

"Sounds like a seidlitz powder/' said Mike 
Dowling, disgustedly, "and it makes me 
sicker than one. Call that a man! that 
hoss was worth a steamer full of such two- 
legged animals. It's a immigrant that's 
what it is." 

"Look at the doctor's chalk mark on its 
coat," said Reilly, the desk man. "It's just 
landed. It must be a kind of a Dago or a 
Hun or one of them Finns, I guess. That's the 
kind of truck that Europe unloads onto us." 

"Think of a thing like that getting in the 
way and laying John up in hospital and spoil- 
ing the best fire team in the city," groaned 
another fireman. "It ought to be taken 
down to the dock and drowned." 

"Somebody go around and get Sloviski," 



1 62 The Foreign Policy of Company 99 

suggested the engine driver, "and let's see 
what nation is responsible for this conglom- 
eration of hair and head noises." 

Sloviski kept a delicatessen store around 
the corner on Third Avenue, and was reputed 
to be a linguist. 

One of the men fetched him a fat, cring- 
ing man, with a discursive eye and the_odours 
of many kinds of meats upon him. 

"Take a whirl at this importation with your 
jawbreakers, Sloviski," requested Mike Dowl- 
ing. "We can't quite figure out whether he's 
from the Hackensack bottoms or Hongkong- 
on-the-Ganges." 

Sloviski addressed the stranger in several 
dialects, that ranged in rhythm and cadence 
from the sounds produced by a tonsillitis 
gargle to the opening of a can of tomatoes 
with a pair of scissors. The immigrant replied 
in accents resembling the uncorking of a bottle 
of ginger ale. 

"I have you his name," reported Sloviski. 
"You shall not pronounce it. Writing of it in 
paper is better." They gave him paper, and 
he wrote, "Demetre Svangvsk." 

"Looks like short hand," said the desk man. 

"He speaks some language," continued the 



The Foreign Policy of Company 99 163 

interpreter, wiping his forehead, "of Austria 
and mixed with a little Turkish. And, den, 
he have some Magyar words and a Polish 
or two, and many like the Roumanian, but not 
without talk of one tribe in Bessarabia. I do 
not him quite understand/' 

"Would you call him a Dago or a Polocker, 
or what?" asked Mike, frowning at the poly- 
glot description. 

"He is a" answered Sloviski "he is a 
I dink he come from I dink he is a fool," 
he concluded, impatient at his linguistic 
failure, "and if you pleases I will go back at 
mine delicatessen." 

"Whatever he is, he's a bird," said Mike 
Dowling; "and you want to watch him fly." 

Taking by the wing the alien fowl that had 
fluttered into the nest of Liberty, Mike led 
him to the door of the engine-house and be- 
stowed upon him a kick hearty enough to 
convey the entire animus of Company 99. 
Demetre Svangvsk hustled away down the 
sidewalk, turning once to show his ineradicable 
grin to the aggrieved firemen. 

In three weeks John Byrnes was back at his 
post from the hospital. With great gusto he 
proceeded to bring his war map up to date. 



164 The Foreign Policy of Company 99 

"My money on the Japs every time," he de- 
clared. "Why, look at them Russians 
they're nothing but wolves. Wipe 'em out, 
I say and the little old jiu jitsu gang are just 
the cherry blossoms to do the trick, and don't 
you forget it!" 

The second day after Byrnes's reappear- 
ance came Demetre Svangvsk, the unidenti- 
fied, to the engine-house with a broader grin 
than ever. He managed to convey the idea 
that he wished to congratulate the hose-cart 
driver on his recovery and to apologize for 
having caused the accident. This he accom- 
plished by so many extravagant gestures and 
explosive noises that the company was di- 
verted for half an hour. Then they kicked him 
out again, and on the next day he_came back 
grinning. How or where he lived no one 
knew. And then John Byrnes's nine-year- 
old son Chris, who brought him convalescent 
delicacies from home to eat, took a fancy to 
Svangvsk, and they allowed him to loaf about 
the door of the engine-house occasionally. 

One afternoon the big drab automobile of 
the Deputy Fire Commissioner buzzed up to 
the door of No. 99 and the Deputy stepped 
inside for an informal inspection. The men 



The Foreign Policy of Company 99 163 

kicked Svangvsk out a little harder than usual 
and proudly escorted the Deputy around 99, in 
which everything shone like my lady's mirror. 

The Deputy respected the sorrow of the 
company concerning the loss of Erebus, and 
he had come to promise it another mate for 
Joe that would do him credit. So they let 
Joe out of his stall and showed the Deputy 
how deserving he was of the finest mate that 
could be in horsedom. 

While they were circling around Joe con- 
fabbing, Chris climbed into the Deputy's 
auto and threw the power full on. The men 
heard a monster puffing and a shriek from the 
lad, and sprang out too late. The big auto 
shot away, luckily taking a straight course 
down the street. The boy knew nothing of 
its machinery; he sat clutching the cushions 
and howling. With the power on nothing 
could have stopped that auto except a brick 
house, and there was nothing for Chris to 
gain by such a stoppage. 

Demetre Svangvsk was just coming in 
again with a grin for another kick when Chris 
played his merry little prank. While the 
others sprang for the door Demetre sprang 
for" Joe. He glided upon the horse's bare 



1 66 The Foreign Policy of Company 99 

back like a snake and shouted something at 
him like the crack of a dozen whips. One 
of the firemen afterward swore that Joe 
answered him back in the same language. 
Ten seconds after the auto started the big 
horse was eating up the asphalt behind it like 
a strip of macaroni. 

Some people two blocks and a half away 
saw the rescue. They said that the auto was 
nothing but a drab noise with a black speck 
in the middle of it for Chris, when a big bay 
horse with a lizard lying on its back cantered 
up alongside of it, and the lizard reached over 
and picked the black speck out of the noise. 

Only fifteen minutes after Svangvsk's last 
kicking at the hands or rather the feet of 
Engine Company No. 99 he rode Joe back 
through the dcor with the boy safe, but acutely 
conscious of the licking he was going to receive. 

Svangvsk slipped to the floor, leaned his 
head against Joe's, and made a noise like a 
clucking hen. Joe nodded and whistled loudly 
through his nostrils, putting to shame the 
knowledge of Sloviski, of the delicatessen. 

John Byrnes walked up to Svangvsk, who 
grinned, expecting to be kicked. Byrnes 
gripped the outlander so strongly by the hand 



The Foreign Policy of Company 99 167 

that Demetre grinned anyhow, conceiving it 
to be a new form of punishment. 

"The heathen rides like a Cossack," re- 
marked a fireman who had seen a Wild West 
show "they're the greatest riders in the 
world/' 

The word seemed to electrify Svangvsk. 
He grinned wider than ever. 

"Yas yas me Cossack," he spluttered, 
striking his cheat. 

"Cossack!" repeated John Byrnes, thought- 
fully, "ain't that a kind of a Russian?" 

^"They're one of the Russian tribes, sure," 
said the desk man, who read books between 
fire alarms. 

Just then Alderman Foley, who was on his 
way home and did not know of the runaway, 
stopped at the door of the engine-house and 
called to Byrnes: 

"Hello, there, Jimmy, me boy how's the 
war coming along? Japs still got the bear on 
the trot, have they?" 

"Oh, I don't know," said John ^Byrnes, 
argumentatively, "them Japs haven't got 
any walkover. You wait till Kuropatkin 
gets a good whack at 'em and they won't be 
knee-high to a puddle-ducks ky." 



XIV 

MEMOIRS OF A YELLOW DOG 

I DON'T suppose it will knock any of you 
people off your perch to read a contribution 
from an animal. Mr. Kipling and a good 
many others have demonstrated the fact 
that animals can express themselves in re- 
munerative English, and no magazine goes 
to press nowadays without an animal story 
in it, except the old-style monthlies that are 
still running pictures of Bryan and the Mont 
Pelee horror. 

But you needn't look for any stuck-up 
literature in my piece, such as Bearoo, the 
bear, and Snakoo, the snake, and Tammanoo, 
the tiger, talk in the jungle books. A yellow 
dog that's spent most of his life in a cheap 
New York flat, sleeping in a corner on an old 
sateen underskirt (the one she spilled port 
wine on at the Lady 'Longshoremen's ban- 
quet), mustn't be expected to perform any 
tricks with the art of speech. 

168 



Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 169 

I was born a yellow pup; date, locality, 
pedigree, and weight unknown. The first 
thing I can recollect, an old woman had me 
in a basket at Broadway and Twenty-third 
trying to sell me to a fat lady. Old Mother 
Hubbard was boosting me to beat the band 
as a genuine Pomeranian-Hambletonian-Red- 
Irish-Cochin-China-Stoke-Pogis fox terrier. 
The fat lady chased a V around among the 
samples of gros grain flannelette in her shop- 
ping bag till she cornered it, and gave up. 
From that moment I was a pet a mamma's 
own wootsey squidlums. Say, gentle reader, 
did you ever have a 2OO-pound woman breath- 
ing a flavour of Camembert cheese and Peau 
d'Espagne pick you up and wallop her nose 
all over you, remarking all the time in an 
Emma Eames tone of voice: "Oh, oo's um 
oodlum, doodlum, woodlum, toodlum, bitsy- 
witsy skoodlums?" 

From a pedigreed yellow pup I grew up to 
be an anonymous yellow cur looking like a 
cross between an Angora cat and a box of 
lemons. But my mistress never tumbled. 
She thought that the two primeval pups that 
Noah chased into the ark were but a col- 
lateral branch of my ancestors. It took two 



170 Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 

policemen to keep her from entering me at 
the Madison Square Garden for the Siberian 
bloodhound prize. 

Til tell you about that flat. The house was 
the ordinary thing in New York, paved with 
Parian marble in the entrance hall and cobble- 
stones above the first floor. Our flat was 
three fl well, not flights climbs up. My 
mistress rented it unfurnished, and put in 
the regular things 1903 antique unholstered 
parlour set, oil chromo of geishas in a Harlem 
tea house, rubber plant, and husband. 

By Sirius! there was a biped I felt sorry 
for. He was a little man with sandy hair and 
whiskers a good deal like mine. Henpecked? 
well, toucans and flamingoes and pelicans 
all had their bills in him. He wiped the 
dishes and listened to my mistress tell about 
the cheap, ragged things the lady with the 
squirrel-skin coat on the second floor hung 
out on her line to dry. And every evening 
while she was getting supper she made him 
take me out on the end of a string for a 
walk. 

If men knew how women pass the time 
when they are alone they'd never marry. 
Laura Lean Jibbey, peanut brittle, a little 



Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 171 

almond cream on the neck muscles, dishes 
unwashed, half an, hour's talk with the ice- 
man, reading a package of old letters, a 
couple of pickles and two bottles of malt ex- 
tract, one hour peeking through a hole in 
the window shade into the flat across the 
air-shaft that's about all there is to it. 
Twenty minutes before time for him to 
come home from work she straightens up 
the house, fixes her rat so it won't show, 
and gets out a lot of sewing for a ten-minute 
bluff. 

I led a dog's life in that flat. 'Most all 
day I lay there in my corner watching that 
fat woman kill time. I slept sometimes and 
had pipe dreams about being out chasing 
cats into basements and growling at old ladies 
with black mittens, as a dog was intended 
to do. Then she would pounce upon me 
with a lot of that drivelling poodle palaver 
and kiss me on the nose but what could I 
do ? A dog can't chew cloves. 

I began to feel sorry for Hubby, dog my 
cats if I didn't. We looked so much alike 
that people noticed it when we went out; so 
we shook the streets that Morgan's cab drives 
down, and took to climbing the piles of last 



172 Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 

December's snow on the streets where cheap 
people live. 

One evening when we were thus promenading, 
and I was trying to look like a prize St. Bernard, 
and the old man was trying to look like he 
wouldn't have murdered the first organ-grinder 
he heard play Mendelssohn's wedding-march, 
I looked up at him and said, in my way: 

"What are you looking so sour about, you 
oakum trimmed lobster? She don't kiss you, 
You don't have to sit on her lap and listen 
to talk that would make the book of a musical 
comedy sound like the maxims of Epictetus. 
You ought to be thankful you're not a dog. 
Brace up, Benedick, and bid the blues be- 
gone." 

The matrimonial mishap looked down at me 
with almost canine intelligence in his face. 

"Why, doggie," says he, "good doggie. 
You almost look like you could speak. What 
is it, doggie Cats?" 

Cats! Could speak! 

But, of course, he couldn't understand. 
Humans were denied the speech of animals. 
The only common ground of communication 
upon which dogs and men can get together 
is in fiction. 



Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 173 

In the flat across the hall from us lived a 
lady with a black-and-tan terrier. Her hus- 
band strung it and took it out every evening, 
but he always came home cheerful and whist- 
ling. One day I touched noses with the 
black-and-tan in the hall, and 'I struck him 
for an elucidation. 

"See here, Wiggle-and-Skip," I says, "you 
know that it ain't the nature of a real man to 
play dry nurse to a dog in public. I never 
saw one leashed to a bow-wow yet that 
didn't look like he'd like to lick every other 
man that looked at him. But your boss 
comes in every day as perky and set up as an 
amateur prestidigitator doing the egg trick. 
How does he do it? Don't tell me he likes 
it." 

"Him?" says the black-and-tan. "Why, 
he uses Nature's Own Remedy. He gets spif- 
flicated. At first when we go out he's as shy 
as the man on the steamer who would rather 
play pedro when they make 'em all jackpots. 
By the time we've been in eight saloons he 
don't care whether the thing on the end of 
his line is a dog or a catfish. I've lost two 
inches of my tail trying to sidestep those 
swinging doors." 



174 Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 

The pointer I got from that terrier vaude- 
ville please copy set me to thinking. 

One evening about 6 o'clock my mistress 
ordered him to get busy and do the ozone act 
for Lovey. I have concealed it until now, 
but that is what she called me. The black- 
and-tan was called "Tweetness." I consider 
that I have the bulge on him as far as you 
could chase a rabbit. Still "Lovey" is some- 
thing of a nomenclatural tin can on the tail 
of one's self-respect. 

At a quiet place on a safe street I tightened 
the line of my custodian in front of an at- 
tractive, refined saloon. I made a dead- 
ahead scramble for the doors, whining like 
a dog in the press despatches that lets the 
family know that little Alice is bogged while 
gathering lilies in the brook. 

"Why, darn my eyes," says the old man, 
with a grin; "darn my eyes if the saffron- 
coloured son of a seltzer lemonade ain't ask- 
ing me in to take a drink. Lemme see- 
how long's it been since I saved shoe leather 
by keeping one foot on the foot-rest? I 
believe I'll- 

I knew I had him. Hot Scotches he took, 
sitting at a table. For an hour he kept the 



Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 175 

Campbells coming. I sat by his side rapping 
for the waiter with my tail, and eating free 
lunch such as mamma in her flat never 
equalled with her homemade truck bought at a 
delicatessen store eight minutes before papa 
comes home. 

When the products of Scotland were all 
exhausted except the rye bread the old man un- 
wound me from the table leg and played me 
outside like a fisherman plays a salmon. 
Out there he took off my collar and threw it 
into the street. 

"Poor doggie," says he; "good doggie. 
She shan't kiss you any more. 'S a darned 
shame. Good doggie, go away and get run 
over by a street car and be happy." 

I refused to leave. I leaped and frisked 
around the old man's legs happy as a pug on a 
rug. 

"You old flea-headed woodchuck-chaser," 
I said to him "you moon-baying, rabbit- 
pointing, egg-stealing old beagle, can't you 
see that I don't want to leave you? Can't 
you see that we're both Pups in the Wood 
and the missis is the cruel uncle after you 
with the dish towel and me with the flea 
liniment and a pink bow to tie on my tail. 



176 Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 

Why not cut that all out and be pards forever 
more?" 

Maybe you'll say he didn't understand 
maybe he didn't. But he kind of got a grip 
on the Hot Scotches, and stood still for a 
minute, thinking. 

"Doggie," says he, finally, "we don't 
live more than a dozen lives on this earth, 
and very few of us live to be more than 
500. If I ever see that flat any more I'm 
a flat, and if you do you're flatter; and 
that's no flattery. I'm offering 60 to i that 
Westward Ho wins out by the length of a 
dachshund." 

There was no string, but I frolicked along 
with my master to the Twenty-third Street 
ferry. And the cats on the route saw reason 
to give thanks that prehensile claws had been 
given them. 

On the Jersey side my master said to a 
stranger who stood eating a currant bun : 

"Me and my doggie, we are bound for the 
Rocky Mountains." 

But what pleased me most was when my old 
man pulled both of my ears until I howled, 
and said: 

"You common, monkey-headed, rat-tailed, 



Memoirs of a Yellow Dog 177 

sulphur-coloured son of a door mat, do you 
know what I'm going to call you ?" 

I thought of "Lovey," and I whined dole- 
fully. 

"I'm going to call you 'Pete,'" says my 
master; and if I'd had five tails I couldn't 
have done enough wagging to do justice to 
the occasion. 



XV 

LOST ON DRESS PARADE 

MR. TOWERS CHANDLER was pressing his 
evening suit in his hall bedroom. One iron 
was heating on a small gas stove; the other 
was being pushed vigorously back and forth 
to make the desirable crease that would be 
seen later on extending in straight lines from 
Mr. Chandler's patent leather shoes to the 
edge of his low-cut vest. So much of the 
hero's toilet may be intrusted to our con- 
fidence. The remainder may be guessed by 
those whom genteel poverty has driven to 
ignoble expedient. Our next view of him shall 
be as he descends the steps of his lodging- 
house immaculately and correctly clothed; 
calm, assured, handsome in appearance the 
typical New York young clubman setting out, 
slightly bored, to inaugurate the pleasures 
of the evening. 

Chandler's honorarium was $18 per week. 
He was employed in the office of an architect, 

178 



Lost on Dress Parade 179 

He was twenty-two years old; he considered 
architecture to be truly an art ; and he honestly 
believed though he would not have dared 
to admit it in New York that the Flatiron 
Building was inferior in design to the great 
cathedral in Milan. 

Out of each week's earnings Chandler set 
aside $i. At the end of each ten weeks with 
the extra capital thus accumulated, he pur- 
chased one gentleman's evening from the 
bargain counter of stingy old Father Time. 
He arrayed himself in the regalia of million- 
aires and presidents; he took himself to the 
quarter where life is brightest and showiest, 
and there clined with taste and luxury. With 
ten dollars a man may, for a few hours, play 
the wealthy idler to perfection. The sum is 
ample for a well-considered meal, a bottle 
bearing a respectable label, commensurate 
tips, a smoke, cab fare, and the ordinary 
etcetras. 

This one delectable evening culled from 
each dull seventy was to Chandler a source 
of renascent bliss. To the society bud comes 
but one debut; it stands alone sweet in her 
memory when her hair has whitened; but to 
Chandler each ten weeks brought a joy as 



180 Lost on Dress Parade 

keen, as thrilling, as new as the first had 
been. To sit among bon vivants under palms in 
the swirl of concealed music, to look upon the 
habitues of such a paradise and to be looked 
upon by them what is a girl's first dance and 
short-sleeved tulle compared with this? 

Up Broadway Chandler moved with the 
vespertine dress parade. For this evening he 
was an exhibit as well as a gazer. For the 
next sixty-nine evenings he would be dining 
in cheviot and worsted at dubious table 
d'hotes, at whirlwind lunch counters, on sand- 
wiches and beer in his hall bedroom. He was 
willing to do that, for he was a true son of the 
great city of razzle-dazzle, and to him one 
evening in the limelight made up for many 
dark ones. 

Chandler protracted his walk until the 
Forties began to intersect the great and 
glittering primrose way, for the evening was 
yet young, and when one is of the beau 
monde only one day in seventy, one loves to 
protract the pleasure. Eyes bright, sinister, 
curious, admiring, provocative, alluring were 
bent upon him, for his garb and air pro- 
claimed him a devotee to the hour of solace 
and pleasure. 



Lost on Dress Parade 181 

At a certain corner he came to a standstill, 
proposing to himself the question of turning 
back toward the showy and fashionable 
restaurant in which he usually dined on the 
evenings of his especial luxury. Just then a 
girl scudded lightly around the corner, slipped 
on a patch of icy snow, and fell plump upon 
the sidewalk. 

Chandler assisted her to her feet with 
instant and solicitous courtesy. The girl 
hobbled to the wall of the building, leaned 
against it, and thanked him demurely. 

"I think my ankle is strained/' she said. 
"It twisted when I fell." 

"Does it pain you much?" inquired Chand- 
ler. 

"Only when I rest my weight upon it. I 
think I will be able to walk in a minute or 



two." 



"If I can be of any further service," 
suggested the young man, "I will call a cab, 



or " 



" Thank you," said the girl, softly but 
heartily. "I am sure you need not trouble 
yourself any further. It was so awkward of 
me. And my shoe heels are horridly common- 
sense: I can't blame them at all." 



1 82 Lost on Dress Parade 

Chandler looked at the girl and found her 
swiftly drawing his interest. She was pretty 
in a refined way; and her eye was both 
merry and kind. She was inexpensively clothed 
in a plain black dress that suggested a sort 
of uniform such as shop girls wear. Her 
glossy dark-brown hair showed its coils be- 
neath a cheap hat of black straw whose only 
ornament was a velvet ribbon and bow. She 
could have posed as a model for the self- 
respecting working girl of the best type. 

A sudden idea came into the head of the 
young architect. He would ask this girl to 
dine with him. Here was the element that 
his splendid but solitary periodic feasts had 
lacked. His brief season of elegant luxury 
would be doubly enjoyable if he could add to 
it a lady's society. This girl was a lady, he 
was sure her manner and speech settled 
that. And in spite of her extremely plain 
attire he felt that he would be pleased to sit 
at table with her. 

These thoughts passed swiftly through his 
mind, and he decided to ask her. It was a 
breach of etiquette, of course, but oftentimes 
wage-earning girls waived formalities in mat- 
ters of this kind. They were generally 



Lost on Dress Parade 183 

shrewd judges of men; and thought better of 
their own judgment than they did of useless 
conventions. His ten dollars, discreetly ex- 
pended, would enable the two to dine very 
well indeed. The dinner would no doubt be 
a wonderful experience thrown into the dull 
routine of the girl's life; and her lively ap- 
preciation of it would add to his own triumph 
and pleasure. 

"I think," he said to her, with frank 
gravity, "that your foot needs a longer rest 
than you suppose. Now, I am going to 
suggest a way in which you can give it that 
and at the same time do me a favour. I was 
on my way to dine all by my lonely self when 
you came tumbling around the corner. You 
come with me and we'll have a cozy dinner 
and a pleasant talk together, and by that 
time your game ankle will carry you home 
very nicely, I am sure." 

The girl looked quickly up into Chandler's 
clear, pleasant countenance. Her eyes 
twinkled once very brightly, and then she 
smiled ingenuously. 

"But we don't know each other it would- 
n't be right, would it?" she said doubtfully. 

"There is nothing wrong about it," said 



184 Lost on Dress Parade 

the young man candidly. "I'll introduce 
myself permit me Mr. Towers Chandler. 
After our dinner, which I will try to make as 
pleasant as possible, I will bid you good- 
evening, or attend you safely to your door, 
whichever you prefer." 

"But, dear me!" said the girl, with a 
glance at Chandler's faultless attire. "In 
this old dress and hat!" 

"Never mind that," said Chandler cheer- 
fully. "I'm sure you look more charming in 
them than any one we shall see in the most 
elaborate dinner toilette." 

"My ankle does hurt yet," admitted the 
girl, attempting a limping step. "I think 
I will accept your invitation, Mr. Chandler. 
You may call me Miss Marian." 

"Come, then, Miss Marian," said the young 
architect, gaily, but with perfect courtesy; 
"you will not have far to walk. There is a 
very respectable and good restaurant in the 
next block. You will have to lean on my 
arm so and walk slowly. It is lonely 
dining all by one's self. I'm just a little bit 
glad that you slipped on the ice." 

When the two were established at a well- 
appointed table, with a promising waiter 



Lost on Dress Parade 185 

hovering in attendance, Chandler began to 
experience the real joy that his regular outing 
always brought to him. 

The restaurant was not so showy or pre- 
tentious as the one farther down Broadway, 
which he always preferred, but it was nearly 
so. The tables were well filled with 
prosperous-looking diners, there was a good 
orchestra, playing softly enough to make 
conversation a possible pleasure, and the 
cuisine and service were beyond criticism. 
His companion, even in her cheap hat and 
dress, held herself with an air that added 
distinction to the natural beauty of her face 
and figure. And it is certain that she looked 
at Chandler, with his animated but self- 
possessed manner and his kindling and frank 
blue eyes, with something not far from ad- 
miration in her own charming face. 

Then it was that the Madness of Man- 
hattan, the Frenzy of Fuss and Feathers, the 
Bacillus of Brag, the Provincial Plague of 
Pose seized upon Towers Chandler. He was 
on Broadway, surrounded by pomp and 
style, and there were eyes to look at him. 
On the stage of that comedy he had assumed 
to play the one-night part of a butterfly of 



1 86 Lost on Dress Parade 

fashion and an idler of means and taste. He 
was dressed for the part, and all his good 
angels had not the power to prevent him 
from acting it. 

So he began to prate to Miss Marian of 
clubs, of teas, of golf and riding and kennels 
and cotillions and tours abroad and threw 
out hints of a yatch lying at Larchmont. He 
could see that she was vastly impressed by 
this vague talk, so he endorsed his pose by 
random insinuations concerning great wealth, 
and mentioned familiarly a few names that 
are handled reverently by the proletariat. It 
was Chandler's short little day, and he was 
wringing from it the best that could be had, 
as he saw it. And yet once or twice he saw 
the pure gold of this girl shine through the 
mist that his egotism had raised between 
him and all objects. 

"This way of living that you speak of," she 
said, "sounds so futile and purposeless. 
Haven't you any work to do in the world 
that might interest you more?" 

"My dear Miss Marian," he exclaimed- 
"work! Think of dressing every day for 
dinner, of making half a dozen calls in an 
afternoon with a policeman at every corner 



Lost on Dress Parade 187 

ready to jump into your auto and take you 
to the station if you get up any greater 
speed than a donkey cart's gait. We do- 
nothings are the hardest workers in the 
land/' 

The dinner was concluded, the waiter 
generously feed, and the two walked out to 
the corner where they had met. Miss Marian 
walked very well now; her limp was scarcely 
noticeable. 

"Thank you for a nice time," she said 
frankly. "I must run home now. I liked 
the dinner very much, Mr. Chandler." 

He shook hands with her, smiling cordially, 
and said something about a game of bridge 
at his club. He watched her for a moment, 
walking rather rapidly eastward, and then he 
found a cab to drive him slowly homeward. 

In his chilly bedroom Chandler laid away 
his evening clothes for a sixty-nine days' rest. 
He went about it thoughtfully. 

"That was a stunning girl," he said to 
himself. "She's all right, too, I'd be sworn, 
even is she does have to work. Perhaps if 
I'd told her the truth instead of all that 
razzle-dazzle we might but, confound it! I 
had to play up to my clothes." 



i88 Lost on Dress Parade 

Thus spoke the brave who was born and 
reared in the wigwams of the tribe of the 
Manhattans. 

The girl, after leaving her entertainer, sped 
swiftly cross-town until she arrived at a 
handsome and sedate mansion two squares to 
the east, facing on that avenue which is the 
highway of Mammon and the auxiliary gods. 
Here she entered hurriedly and ascended 
to a room where a handsome young lady in 
an elaborate house dress was looking anxiously 
out the window. 

"Oh, you, madcap!" exclaimed the elder 
girl, when the other entered. "When will 
you quit frightening us this way? It is two 
hours since you ran out in that rag of an old 
dress and Marie's hat. Mamma has been so 
alarmed. She sent Louis in the auto to try 
to find you. You are a bad, thoughtless 
Puss/' 

The elder girl touched a button, and a 
maid came in a moment. 

"Marie, tell mamma that Miss Marian 
has returned." 

"Don't scold, sister. I only ran down to 
Mme. Theo's to tell her to use mauve in- 
*^-rtion instead of pink. My costume am* 



Lost on Dress Parade 189 

Marie's hat were just what I needed. Every 
one thought I was a shopgirl, I am sure." 

"Dinner is over, dear; you stayed so late." 

"I know. I slipped on the sidewalk and 
turned my ankle. I could not walk, so I 
hobbled into a restaurant and sat there until 
I was better. That is why I was so long." 

The two girls sat in the window seat, 
looking out at the lights and the stream of 
hurrying vehicles in the avenue. The younger 
one cuddled down with her head in her 
sister's lap. 

"We will have to marry some day," she 
said dreamily "both of us. We have so 
much money that we will not be allowed to 
disappoint the public. Do you want me to 
tell you the kind of a man I could love, Sis?" 

"Go on, you scatterbrain/' smiled the 
other. 

"I could love a man with dark and kind 
blue eyes, who is gentle and respectful to poor 
girls, who is handsome and good and does not 
try to flirt. But I could love him only if he 
had an ambition, an object, some work to do 
in the world. I would not care how poor he 
was if I could help him build his way up. 
But, sister dear, the kind of man we always 



190 Lost on Dress Parade 

meet the man who lives an idle life between 
society and his clubs I could not love a 
man like that, even if 1 his eyes were blue and 
he were ever so kind to poor girls whom he 
met in the street." 



XVI 

THE LOVE-PHILTRE OF IKEY SCHOENSTEIN 

THE Blue Light Drug Store is downtown, 
between the Bowery and First Avenue, where 
the distance between the two streets is the 
shortest. The Blue Light does not consider 
that pharmacy is a thing of bric-a-brac, scent, 
and ice-cream soda. If you ask it for pain- 
killer it will not give you a bonbon. 

The Blue Light scorns tfie labour-saving 
arts of modern pharmacy. It macerates its 
opium and percolates its own laudanum and 
paregoric. To this day pills are made behind 
its tall prescription desk pills rolled out on 
its own pill-tile, divided with a spatula, rolled 
with the ringer and thumb, dusted with cal- 
cined magnesia, and delivered in little round 
pasteboard pill-boxes. The store is on a 
corner about which coveys of ragged-plumed, 
hilarious children play and become candidates 
for the cough drops and soothing syrups that 
wait for them inside. 

191 






192 The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 

Ikey Schoenstein was the night clerk of the 
Blue Light and the friend of his customers. 
Thus it is on the East Side, where the heart of 
pharmacy is not glace. There, as it should 
be, the druggist is a counsellor, a confessor, an 
adviser, an able and willing missionary and 
mentor whose learning is respected, whose 
occult wisdom is venerated, and whose medi- 
cine is often poured, untasted, into the gutter. 
Therefore Ikey's corniform, be-spectacled nose 
and narrow, knowledge-bowed figure was well 
known in the vicinity of the Blue Light, and 
his advice and notice were much desired. 

Ikey roomed and breakfasted at Mrs. 
Riddle's two squares away. Mrs. Riddle had 
a daughter named Rosy. The circumlocution 
has been in vain you must have guessed it 
Ikey adored Rosy. She tinctured all his 
thoughts; she was the compound extract of 
all that was chemically pure and officinal 
the dispensatory contained nothing equal to 
her. But Ikey was timid, and his hopes re- 
mained insoluble in the menstruum of his 
backwardness and fears. Behind his counter 
he was a superior being, calmly conscious of 
special knowledge and worth; outside he was 
a weak-kneed, purblind, motorman-cursed 



The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 193 

rambler, with ill-fitting clothes stained with 
chemicals and smelling of socotrine aloes and 
valerianate of ammonia. 

The fly in Ikey's ointment (thrice welcome, 
pat trope!) was Chunk McGowan. 

Mr. McGowan was also striving to catch 
the bright smiles tossed about by Rosy. But 
he was no outfielder as Ikey was; he picked 
them off the bat. At the same time he was 
Ikey's friend and customer, and often dropped 
in at the Blue Light Drug Store to have a 
bruise painted with iodine or get a cut rubber- 
plastered after a pleasant evening spent along 
the Bowery. 

One afternoon McGowan drifted in in his 
silent, easy way, and sat, comely, smooth- 
faced, hard, indomitable, good-natured, upon 
a stool. 

"Ikey," said he, when his friend had fetched 
his mortar and sat opposite, grinding gum 
benzoin to a powder, "get busy with your 
ear. It's drugs for me if you've got the line 
I need." 

Ikey scanned the countenance of Mr. 
McGowan for the usual evidences of conflict, 
but found none. 

"Take your coat off," he ordered. "I 



194 The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 

guess already that you have been stuck in the 
ribs with a knife. I have many times told 
you those Dagoes would do you up." 

Mr. McGowan smiled. "Not them," he 
said. "Not any Dagoes. But you've located 
the diagnosis all right enough it's under my 
coat, near the ribs. Say! Ikey Rosy and 
me are goin' to run away and get married to- 
night." 

Ikey's left forefinger was doubled over the 
edge of the mortar, holding it steady. He 
gave it a wild rap with the pestle, but felt it 
not. Meanwhile Mr. McGowan's smile faded 
to a look of perplexed gloom. 

"That is," he continued, "if she keeps in 
the notion until the time comes. We've been 
layin' pipes for the getaway for two weeks. 
One day she says she will; the same evenin' 
she says nixy. We've agreed on to-night, and 
Rosy's stuck to the affirmative this time for 
two whole days. But it's five hours yet till 
the time, and I'm afraid she'll stand me up 
when it comes to the scratch." 

"You said you wanted drugs," remarked 
Ikey. 

Mr. McGowan looked ill at ease and ha- 
rassed a condition opposed to his usual line of 



The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 195 

demeanour. He made a patent-medicine al- 
manac into a roll and fitted it with unprofit- 
able carefulness about his finger. 

"I wouldn't have this double handicap 
make a false start to-night for a million," he 
said. "I've got a little flat up in Harlem all 
ready, with chrysanthemums on the table and 
a kettle ready to boil. And I've engaged a 
pulpit pounder to be ready at his house for us 
at 9.30. It's got to come off. And if Rosy 
don't change her mind again!" Mr. Mc- 
Gowan ceased, a prey to his doubts. 

"I don't see then yet," said Ikey, shortly, 
"what makes it that you talk of drugs, or 
what I can be doing about it." 

"Old man Riddle don't like me a little bit," 
went on the uneasy suitor, bent upon mar- 
shalling his arguments. "For a week he 
hasn't let Rosy step outside the door with 
me. If it wasn't for losin' a boarder they'd 
have bounced me long ago. I'm makin' $20 
a week and she'll never regret flyin' the coop 
with Chunk McGowan." 

"You will excuse me, Chunk," said Ikey. 
"I must make a prescription that is to be 
called for soon." 

" Say," said McGowan, looking up sud- 



196 The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 

denly, "say, Ikey, ain't there a drug of 
some kind some kind of powders that'll 
make a girl like you better if you give 'em to 
her?" 

Ikey's lip beneath his nose curled with the 
scorn of superior enlightenment; but before 
he could answer, McGowan continued: 

"Tim Lacy told me he got some once from 
a croaker uptown and fed 'em to his girl in 
soda water. From the very first dose he 
was ace-high and everybody else looked like 
thirty cents to her. They was married in 
less than two weeks." 

Strong and simple was Chunk McGowan. 
A better reader of men than Ikev was could 
have seen that his tough frame was strung 
upon fine wires. Like a good general who 
was about to invade the enemy's territory 
he was seeking to guard every point against 
possible failure. 

"I thought," went on Chunk hopefully, 
"that if I had one of them powders to give 
Rosy when I see her at supper to-night it 
might brace her up and keep her from reneging 
on the preposition to skip. I guess she don't 
need a mule team to drag her away, but wo- 
men are better at coaching than they are at 



The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 197 

running bases. If the stuff'll work just for a 
couple of hours it'll do the trick/' 

"When is this foolishness of running away 
to be happening?" asked Ikey. 

" Nine o'clock," said Mr. McGowan. " Sup- 
per's at seven. At eight Rosy goes to bed 
with a headache. At nine old Parvenzano 
lets me through to his backyard, where there's 
a board off Riddle's fence, next door. I go 
under her window and help her down the 
fire-escape. We've got to make it early on 
the preacher's account. It's all dead easy 
if Rosy don't balk when the flag drops. Can 
you fix one of them powders, Ikey?" 

Ikey Schoenstein rubbed his nose slowly. 

"Chunk," said he, "it is of drugs of that 
nature that pharmaceutists must have 
much carefulness. To you alone of my 
acquaintance would I intrust a powder like 
that. But for you I shall make it, and 
you shall see how it makes Rosy to think of 
you." 

Ikey went behind the prescription desk. 
There he crushed to a powder two soluble 
tablets, each containing a quarter of a grain 
of morphia. To them he added a little sugar 
of milk to increase the bulk, and folded the 



198 The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 

mixture neatly in a white paper. Taken 
by an adult this powder would insure several 
hours of heavy slumber without danger to 
the sleeper. This he handed to Chunk Mc- 
Gowan, telling him to administer it in a 
liquid if possible, and received the hearty 
thanks of the backyard Lochinvar. 

The subtlety of Ikey's action becomes ap- 
parent upon recital of his subsequent move. 
He sent a messenger for Mr. Riddle and dis- 
closed the plans of Mr. McGowan for eloping 
with Rosy. Mr. Riddle was a stout man, 
brick-dusty of complexion and sudden in 
action. 

"Much obliged," he said, briefly, to Ikey. 
"The lazy Irish loafer! My own room's 
just above Rosy's. I'll just go up there my- 
self after supper and load the shot-gun and 
wait. If he comes in my backyard he'll go 
away in a ambulance instead of a bridal 
chaise." 

With Rosy held in the clutches of Mor- 
pheus for a many-hours deep slumber, and 
the bloodthirsty parent waiting, armed and 
forewarned, Ikey felt that his rival was close, 
indeed, upon discomfiture. 

All night in the Blue Light Drug Store he 



The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 199 

waited at his duties for chance news of the 
tragedy, but none came. 

At eight o'clock in the morning the day 
clerk arrived and Ikey started hurriedly for 
Mrs. Riddle's to learn the outcome. And, 
lo! as he stepped out of the store who but 
Chunk McGowan sprang from a passing street 
car and grasped his hand Chunk McGowan 
with a victor's smile and flushed with joy. 

"Pulled it off," said Chunk with Elysium 
in his grin. "Rosy hit the fire-escape on 
time to a second, and we was under the wire 
at the Reverend's at 9.30^. She's up at the 
flat she cooked eggs this mornin' in a blue 
kimono Lord! how lucky I am! You must 
pace up some day, Ikey, and feed with us. 
I've got a job down near the bridge, and that's 
where I'm heading for now." 

"The the powder?" stammered Ikey. 

"Oh, that stuff you gave me!" said Chunk, 
broadening his grin ; "well, it was this way. I 
sat down at the supper table last night at 
Riddle's, and I looked at Rosy, and I says to 
myself, 'Chunk, if you get the girl get her 
on the square don't try any hocus-pocus 
with a thoroughbred like her/ And I keeps 
the paper you give me in my pocket. And 



200 The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein 

then my lamps fall on another party present, 
who, I says to myself, is failin' in a proper 
affection toward his comin' son-in-law, so I 
watches my chance and dumps that powder in 
old man Riddle's coffee see?" 



XVII 

THE GIRL AND THE HABIT 

HABIT a tendency or aptitude acquired by custom 
or frequent repetition. 

THE critics have assailed every source of 
inspiration save one. To that one we are 
driven for our moral theme. When we levied 
upon the masters of old they gleefully dug 
up the parallels to our columns. When we 
strove to set forth real life they reproached us 
for trying to imitate Henry George, George 
Washington, Washington Irving, and Irving 
Bacheller. We wrote of the West and the 
East, and they accused us of both Jesse and 
Henry James. We wrote from our heart 
and they said something about a disordered 
liver. We took a text from Matthew or er 
yes, Deuteronomy, but the preachers were 
hammering away at the inspiration idea 
before we could get into type. So, driven 
to the wall, we go for our subject-matter to 

201 



2O2 The Girl and the Habit 

the reliable, old, moral, unassailable vade 
mecum the unabridged dictionary. 

Miss Merriam was cashier at Hinkle's. 
Hinkle's was one of the big downtown restau- 
rants. It is in what the papers call the "fi- 
nancial district." Each day from 1 2 o'clock to 2 
Hinkle's was full of hungry customers- 
messenger boys, stenographers, brokers, own- 
ers of mining stock, promoters, inventors 
with patents pending and also people with 
money. 

The cashier at Hinkle's was no sinecure. 
Hinkle egged and toasted and griddle-caked 
and coffeed a good many customers; and he 
lunched (as good a word as "dined") many 
more. It might be said that Hinkle's break- 
fast crowd was a contingent, but his luncheon 
patronage amounted to a horde. 

Miss Merriam sat on a stool at a desk 
inclosed on three sides by a strong, high 
fencing of woven brass wire. Through an 
arched opening at the bottom you thrust 
your waiter's check and the money, while 
your heart went pit-a-pat. 

For Miss Merriam was lovely and capable. 
She could take 45 cents out of a $2 bill and 
refuse an offer of marriage before you could 



The Girl and the Habit 203 

Next! lost your chance please don't shove. 
She could keep cool and collected while she 
collected your check, give you the correct 
change, win you heart, indicate the tooth- 
pick stand, and rate you to a quarter of a 
cent better than Bradstreet could to a thou- 
sand in less time than it takes to pepper an 
egg with one of Hinkle's casters. 

There is an old and dignified allusion to the 
"fierce light that beats upon a throne." The 
light that beats upon the young lady cashier's 
cage is also something fierce. The other fel- 
low is responsible for the slang. 

Every male patron of Hinkle's, from the 
A. D. T. boys up to the curbstone brokers, 
adored Miss Merriam. When they paid 
their checks they wooed her with every wile 
known to Cupid's art. Between the meshes 
of the brass railing went smiles, winks, 
compliments, tender vows, invitations to 
dinner, sighs, languishing looks, and merry 
banter that was wafted pointedly back by the 
gifted Miss Merriam. 

There is no coign of vantage more effective 
than the position of young lady cashier. She 
sits there, easily queen of the court of com- 
merce; she is duchess of dollars and devoirs, 



204 The Girl and the Habit 

countess of compliments and coin, leading 
lady of love and luncheon. You take from 
her a smile and a Canadian dime, and you 
go your way uncomplaining. You count the 
cheery word or two that she tosses you as 
misers count their treasures; and you pocket 
the change for a five uncomputed. Perhaps 
the brass-bound inaccessibility multiplies her 
charms anyhow, she is a shirt-waisted angel, 
immaculate, trim, manicured, seductive, 
bright-eyed, ready, alert Psyche, Circe, and 
Ate in one, separating you from your cir- 
culating medium after your sirloin medium. 

The young men who broke bread at Hinkle's 
never settled with the cashier without an 
exchange of badinage and open compliment. 
Many of them went to greater lengths and 
dropped promissory hints of theatre tickets 
and chocolates. The older men spoke plainly 
of orange blossoms, generally withering the 
tentative petals by after-allusions to Harlem 
flats. One broker who had been squeezed by 
copper proposed to Miss Merriam more 
regularly than he ate. 

During a brisk luncheon hour Miss Mer- 
riam's conversation, while she took money for 
checks, would run something like this : 



The Girl and the Habit 205 

"Good morning, Mr. Haskins sir? it's 
natural, thank you don't be quite so fresh 
. . . Hello, Johnny ten, fifteen, twenty 
chase along now or they'll take the letters 
off your cap . . . Beg pardon count 
it again, please Oh, don't mention it 
. Vaudeville? thanks; not on your 
moving picture I was to see Carter in 
Hedda Gabler on Wednesday night with 
Mr. Simmons . . . 'Scuse me, I 
thought that was a quarter . 
Twenty-five and seventy-five's a dollar got 
that ham-and-cabbage habit yet. I see, 
Billy . . . Who are you addressing? 
say you'll get all that's coming to you in a 
minute . . . Oh, fudge ! Mr. Bassett 
you're always fooling no ? Well, maybe 
I'll marry you some day three, four, and 
sixty-five is five . . . Kindly keep them 
remarks to yourself, if you please . 
Ten cents? 'scuse me; the check calls for 
seventy well, maybe it is a one instead of a 
seven . . . Oh, do you like it that way, 
Mr. Saunders ? some prefer a pomp ; but they 
say this Cleo de Merody does suit refined 
features . . . and ten is fifty . 
Hike along there, buddy; don't take this for 



206 The Girl and the Habit 

a Coney Island ticket booth . . . Huh? 
why, Macy's don't it fit nice? Oh, no, it 
isn't too cool these light-weight fabrics is 
all the go this season . . . Come again, 
please that's the third time you've tried to 
what? forget it that lead quarter is an old 
friend of mine . . . Sixty-five? must 
have had your salary raised, Mr. Wilson 

. I seen you on Sixth Avenue Tuesday 
afternoon, Mr. De Forest swell? oh, my! 
who is she? . . . What's the matter 
with it? why, it ain't money what? Co- 
lumbian half? well, this ain't South America 

. Yes, I like the mixed best Friday? 
awfully sorry, but I take my jiu-jitsu 
lesson on Friday Thursday, then . 
Thanks that's sixteen times I've been told 
that this morning I guess I must be beautiful 
Cut that out, please who do you 
think I am ? . . . Why, Mr. Westbrook 
do you really think so? the idea! one 
eighty and twenty's a dollar thank you ever 
so much; but I don't ever go automobile 
riding with gentlemen your aunt? well, 
that's different perhaps . . . Please 
don't get fresh your check was fifteen cents, 
I believe kindly step aside and let ... 



The Girl and the Habit 207 

Hello, Ben coming around Thursday even- 
ing? there's a gentleman going to send 
around a box of chocolates, and . 

forty and sixty is a dollar, and one is two 


About the middle of one afternoon the 
dizzy goddess Vertigo whose other name is 
Fortune suddenly smote an old, wealthy 
and eccentric banker while he was walking 
past Hinkle's, on his way to a street car. A 
wealthy and eccentric banker who rides in 
street cars is move up, please; there are 
others. 

A Samaritan, a Pharisee, a man and a 
policeman who were first on the spot lifted 
Banker McRamsey and carried him into 
Hinkle's restaurant. When the aged but 
indestructible banker opened his eyes he saw 
a beautiful vision bending over him with a 
pitiful, tender smile, bathing his forehead 
with beef tea and chafing his hands with 
something frappe out of a chafing-dish. Mr. 
McRamsey sighed, lost a vest button, gazed 
with deep gratitude upon his fair preserveress, 
and then recovered consciousness. 

To the Seaside Library all who are anticipat- 
ing a romance! Banker McRamsey had an 



208 The Girl and the Habit 

aged and respected wife, and his sentiments 
toward Miss Merriam were fatherly. He 
talked to her for half an hour with interest- 
not the kind that went with his talks during 
business hours. The next day he brought 
Mrs. McRamsey down to see her. The old 
couple were childless they had only a married 
daughter living in Brooklyn. 

To make a short story shorter, the beautiful 
cashier won the hearts of the good old couple. 
They came to Hinkle's again and again; 
they invited her to their old-fashioned but 
splendid home in one of the East Seventies. 
Miss Merriam's winning loveliness, her sweet 
frankness and impulsive heart took them by 
storm. They said a hundred times that Miss 
Merriam reminded them so much of their 
lost daughter. The Brooklyn matron, nee 
Ramsey, had the figure of Buddha and a face 
like the ideal of an art photographer. Miss 
Merriam was a combination of curves, smiles, 
rose leaves, pearls, satin, and hair-tonic 
posters. Enough of the fatuity of parents. 

A month after the worthy couple became 
acquainted with Miss Merriam she stood 
before Hinkle one afternoon and resigned her 
cashiership. 



The Girl and the Habit 209 

"They're going to adopt me/' she told the 
bereft restaurateur. "They're funny old 
people, but regular dears. And the swell 
home they have got! Say, Hinkle, there 
isn't any use of talking I'm on the a la carte 
to wear brown duds and goggles in a whiz 
wagon, or marry a duke at least. Still, I 
somehow hate to break out of the old cage. 
I've been cashiering so long I feel funny 
doing anything else. I'll miss joshing the 
fellows awfully when they line up to pay 
for the buckwheats and. But I can't let 
this chance slide. And they're awfully good, 
Hinkle; I know I'll have a swell time. You 
owe me nine-sixty-two and a half for the week. 
Cut' out the half if it hurts you, Hinkle." 

And they did. Miss Merriam became Miss 
Rosa McRamsey. And she graced the tran- 
sition. Beauty is only skin-deep, but the 
nerves lie very near to the skin. Nerve 
but just here will you oblige by perusing 
again the quotation with which this story 
begins ? 

The McRamseys poured out money like 
domestic champagne to polish their adopted 
one. Milliners, dancing masters, and private 
tutors got it. Miss er McRamsey was 



210 The Girl and the Habit 

grateful, loving, and tried to forget Hinkle's. 
To give ample credit to the adaptability of 
the American girl, Hinkle's did fade from her 
memory and speech most of the time. 

Not every one will remember when the 
Earl of Hitesbury came to East Seventy 
Street, America. He was only a fair-to- 
medium earl, without debts, and he created 
little excitement. But you will surely remem- 
ber the evening when the Daughters of Benevo- 
lence held their bazaar in the W f-A a 

Hotel. For you were there, and you wrote 
a note to Fannie on the hotel paper, and 
mailed it, just to show her that you did not? 
Very well ; that was the evening the baby was 
sick, of course. 

At the Bazaar the McRamseys were promi- 
nent. Miss Mer er McRamsey was ex- 
quisitely beautiful. The Earl of Hitesbury 
had been very attentive to her since he 
dropped in to have a look at America. At 
the charity bazaar the affair was supposed to 
be going to be pulled off to a finish. An earl 
is as good as a duke. Better. His standing 
may be lower, but his outstanding accounts 
are also lower. 

Our ex-young-lady-cashier was assigned to 



The Girl and the Habit 211 

a booth. She was expected to sell worthless 
articles to nobs and snobs at exorbitant 
prices. The proceeds of the bazaar were to 
be used for giving to the poor children of the 

slums a Christmas din Say! did you ever 

wonder where they get the other 364? 

Miss McRamsey beautiful, palpitating, 
excited, charming, radiant fluttered about 
in her booth. An imitation brass network, 
with a little arched opening, fenced her in. 

Along came the Earl, assured, delicate, 
accurate, admiring admiring greatly, and 
faced the open wicket. 

"You look chawming, you know 'pon my 
word you do my deah," he said beguilingly. 

Miss McRamsey whirled around. 

"Cut that joshing out," she said coolly 
and briskly. "Who do you think you are 
talking to? Your check, please. Oh, Lordy! 



Patrons of the bazaar became aware of a 
commotion and pressed around a certain 
booth. The Earl of Hitesbury stood near by 
pulling a pale blond and puzzled whisker. 

"Miss McRamsey has fainted," some one 
explained. 






XVIII 

AFTER TWENTY YEARS 

THE policeman on the beat moved up the 
avenue impressively. The impressiveness was 
habitual and not for show, for spectators 
were few. The time was barely 10 o'clock 
at night, but chilly gusts of wind with a taste 
of rain in them had well nigh depeopled the 
streets. 

Trying doors as he went, twirling his club 
with many intricate and artful movements, 
turning now and then to cast his watchful 
eye adown the pacific thoroughfare, the officer, 
with his stalwart form and slight swagger, 
made a fine picture of a guardian of the peace. 
The vicinity was one that kept early hours. 
Now and then you might see the lights of a 
cigar store or of an all-night lunch counter; 
but the majority of the doors belonged to 
business places that had long since been 
closed. 

When about midway of a certain block 

212 



After Twenty Years 213 

the policeman suddenly slowed his walk. In 
the doorway of a darkened hardware store 
a man leaned, with an unlighted cigar in his 
mouth. As the policeman walked up to 
him the man spoke up quickly: 

" It's all right, officer/' he said reassuringly. 
"I'm just waiting for a friend. H It's an ap- 
pointment made twenty years ago. Sounds a 
little funny to you, doesn't it ? Well, I'll ex- 
plain if you'd like to make certain it's all 
straight. About that long ago there used 
to be a restaurant where this store stands 
'Big Joe' Brady's restaurant." 

"Until five years ago," said the policeman. 
"It was torn down then." 

The man in the doorway struck a match 
and lit his cigar. The light showed a pale, 
square-jawed face with keen eyes, and a 
little white scar near his right eyebrow. His 
scarfpin was a large diamond, oddly set. 

"Twenty years ago to-night," said the man, 
" I dined here at ' Big Joe' Brady's with Jimmy 
Wells, my best chum, and the finest chap in 
the world. He and I were raised here in 
New York, just like two brothers, together. 
I was eighteen and Jimmy was twenty. The 
next morning I was to start for the West to 



214 After Twenty Years 

make my fortune. You couldn't have dragged 
Jimmy out of New York; he thought it was 
the only place on earth. Well, we agreed 
that night that we would meet here again 
exactly twenty years from that date and 
time, no matter what our conditions might be 
or from what distance we might have to come. 
We figured that in twenty years each of us 
ought to have our destiny worked out and 
our fortunes made, whatever they were going 
to be." 

"It sounds pretty interesting," said the 
policeman. "Rather a long time between 
meets, though, it seems to me. Haven't 
you heard from your friend since you left ?" 

"Well, yes, for a time we corresponded," 
said the other. "But after a year or two we 
lost track of each other. You see, the West 
is a pretty big proposition, and I kept hustling 
around over it pretty lively. But I know 
Jimmy will meet me here if he's alive, for he 
always was the truest, stanchest old chap in 
the world. He'll never forget. I came a 
thousand miles to stand in this door to-night, 
and it's worth it if my old partner turns up." 

The waiting man pulled out a handsome 
watch, the lids of it set with small diamonds. 



After Twenty Years 215 

" Three minutes to ten," he announced. 
" It was exactly ten o'clock when we parted 
here at the restaurant door." 

"Did pretty well out West, didn't you?" 
asked the policeman. 

"You bet! I hope Jimmy has done half 
as well. He was a kind of plodder, though, 
good fellow as he was. I've had to compete 
with some of the sharpest wits going to get my 
pile. A man gets in a groove in New York. 
It takes the West to put a razor-edge on him." 

The policeman twirled his club and took a 
step or two. 

"I'll be on my way. Hope your friend 
comes around all right. Going to call time 
on him sharp?" 

"I should say not!" said the other. "I'll 
give him half an hour at least. If Jimmy is 
alive on earth he'll be here by that time. So 
long, officer." 

"Good-night, sir," said the policeman, pass- 
ing on along his beat, trying doors as he went. 

There was now a fine, cold drizzle falling, 
and the wind had risen from its uncertain 
puffs into a steady blow The few foot 
passengers astir in that quarter hurried dis- 
mally and silently along with coat collars 



216 After Twenty Years 

turned high and pocketed hands. And in the 
door of the hardware store the man who had 
come a thousand miles to fill an appointment, 
uncertain almost to absurdity, with the friend 
of his youth, smoked his cigar and waited. 

About twenty minutes he waited, and then 
a tall man in a long overcoat, with collar 
turned up to his ears, hurried across from the 
opposite side of the street. He went directly 
to the waiting man. 

"Is that you, Bob?" he asked doubtfully. 

"Is that you, Jimmy Wells?" cried the man 
in the door. 

"Bless my heart!" exclaimed the new ar- 
rival, grasping both the other's hands with his 
own. " It's Bob, sure as fate. I was certain 
I'd find you here if you were still in existence. 
Well, well, well ! twenty years is a long time. 
The old restaurant's gone, Bob; I wish it had 
lasted, so we could have had another dinner 
there. How has the West treated you, old 
man?" 

" Bully; it has given me everything I asked 
it for. You've changed lots, Jimmy. I never 
thought you were so tall by two or three 
inches." 

"Oh, I grew a bit after I was twenty." 



lit 




'The man from the West stopped suddenly and released his arm. 
1 You re not Jimmy Wells] he snapped " 



After Twenty Years 217 

"Doing well in New York, Jimmy?" 

"Moderately. I have a position in one of 
the city departments. Come on, Bob; we'll 
go around to a place I know of, and have a 
good long talk about old times." 

The two men started up the street, arm in 
arm. The man from the West, his egotism 
enlarged by success, was beginning to outline 
the history of his career. The other, sub- 
merged in his overcoat, listened with interest. 

At the corner stood a drug store, brilliant 
with electric lights. When they came into 
this glare each of them turned simultaneously 
to gaze upon the other's face. 

The man from the West stopped suddenly 
and released his arm. 

"You're not Jimmy Wells,' 5 he snapped. 
"Twenty years is a long time, but not long 
enough to change a man's nose from a Roman 
to a pug." 

"It sometimes changes a good man into a 
bad one," said the tall man. " You've been 
under arrest for ten minutes, 'Silky' Bob. 
Chicago thinks you may have dropped over 
our way and wires us she wants to have a chat 
with you. Going quietly, are you? That's 
sensible. Now, before we go on to the 



21 8 After Twenty Years 

station here's a note I was asked to hand you. 
You may read it here at the window. It's 
from Patrolman Wells." 

The man from the West unfolded the little 
piece of paper handed him. His hand was 
steady when he began to read, but it trem- 
bled a little by the time he had finished. The 
note was rather short: 

BOB: I was at the appointed place on time. When 
you struck the match to light your cigar I saw it was 
the face of the man wanted in Chicago. Somehow 
I couldn't do it myself, so I went around and got 
a plain clothes man to do the job. 

JIMMY. 



XIX 

"WHAT YOU WANT" 

NIGHT had fallen on that great and beautiful 
city known as Bagdad-on-the-Subway. And 
with the night came the enchanted glamour 
that belongs not to Arabia alone. In different 
masquerade the streets, bazaars, and walled 
houses of the occidental city of romance were 
filled with the same kind of folk that so much 
interested our interesting old friend, the late 
Mr. H. A. Rashid. They wore clothes eleven 
hundred years nearer to the latest styles 
than H. A. saw in the old Bagdad; but they 
were about the same people underneath. 
With the eye of faith, you could have seen 
the Little Hunchback, Sinbad the Sailor, 
Fitbad the Tailor, the Beautiful Persian, the 
one-eyed Calenders, AH Baba and Forty 
Robbers on every block, and the Barber and 
his Six Brothers, and all the old Arabian 
gang easily. 

But let us revenue to our lamb chops. 
219 



220 "What You Want" 

Old Tom Crowley was a caliph. He had 
$42,000,000 in preferred stocks and bonds 
with solid gold edges. In these times, to be 
called a caliph you must have money. The 
old-style caliph business as conducted by Mr. 
Rashid is not safe. If you hold up a person 
nowadays in a bazaar or a Turkish bath or 
a side street, and inquire into his private and 
personal affairs, the police court'll get you. 

Old Tom was tired of clubs, theatres, 
dinners, friends, music, money, and everything. 
That's what makes a caliph you must get 
to despise everything that money can buy, 
and then go out and try to want something 
that you can't pay for. 

"I'll take a little trot 'around town all by 
myself," thought old Tom, "and try if I can 
stir up anything new. Let's see it seems 
I've read about a king or a Cardiff giant or 
something in old times who used to go about 
with false whiskers on, making Persian dates 
with folks he hadn't been introduced to. 
That don't listen like a bad idea. I certainly 
have got a case of humdrumness and fatigue 
on for the ones I do know. That old Cardiff 
used to pick up cases of trouble as he ran upon 
'em and give 'em gold sequins, I think it 



"What You Want" 221 

was and make 'em marry or got 'em good 
Government jobs. Now, I'd like something 
of that sort. My money is as good as his was 
even if the magazines do ask me every month 
where I got it. Yes, I guess I'll do a little 
Cardiff business to-night, and see how it 
goes." 

Plainly dressed, old Tom Crowley left his 
Madison Avenue palace, and walked west- 
ward and then south. As he stepped to the 
sidewalk, Fate, who holds the ends of the 
strings in the central offices of all the en- 
chanted cities, pulled a thread, and a young 
man twenty blocks away looked at a wall 
clock, and then put on his coat. 

James Turner worked in one of those little 
hat-cleaning establishments on Sixth Avenue 
in which a fire alarm rings when you push the 
door open, and where they clean your hat 
while you wait two days. James stood all 
day at an electric machine that turned hats 
around faster than the best brands of cham- 
pagne ever could have done. Overlooking 
your mild impertinence in feeling a curiosity 
about the personal appearance of a stranger, 
I will give you a modified description of him. 
Weight, 118; complexion, hair, and brain, 



222 "What You Want" 

light; height, five feet six; age, about twenty- 
three; dressed in a $10 suit of greenish-blue 
serge; pockets containing two keys and sixty- 
three cents in change. 

But do not misconjecture because this 
description sounds like a General Alarm that 
James was either lost or a dead one. 

Allans ! 

James stood all day at his work. His feet 
were tender and extremely susceptible to im- 
positions being put upon or below them. All 
day long they burned and smarted, causing 
him much suffering and inconvenience. But 
he was earning twelve dollars per week, which 
he needed to support his feet whether his feet 
would support him or not. 

James Turner had his own conception of 
what happiness was, just as you and I have 
ours. Your delight is to gad about the world 
in yachts and motor-cars and to hurl ducats 
at wild fowl. Mine is to smoke a pipe at 
evenfall and watch a badger, a rattlesnake, 
and an owl go into their common prairie home 
one by one. 

James Turner's idea of bliss was different; 
but it was his. He would go directly to his 
boarding-house when his day's work was done. 



"What You Want " 223 

After his supper of small steak, Bessemer 
potatoes, stooed (not stewed) apples and 
infusion of chicory, he would ascend to his 
fifth-floor-back hall room. Then he would 
take off his shoes and socks, place the soles 
of his burning feet against the cold bars of 
his iron bed, and read Clark Russell's sea 
yarns. The delicious relief of the cool metal 
applied to his smarting soles was his nightly 
joy. His favourite novels never palled upon 
him; the sea and the adventures of its navi- 
gators were his sole intellectual passion. No 
millionaire was ever happier than James 
Turner taking his ease. 

When James left the hat-cleaning shop he 
walked three blocks out of his way home to 
look over the goods of a second-hand book- 
stall. On the sidewalk stands he had more 
than once picked up a paper-covered volume 
of Clark Russell at half price. 

While he was bending with a scholarly stoop 
over the marked-down miscellany of cast-off 
literature, old Tom the caliph sauntered by. 
His discerning eye, made keen by twenty 
years' experience in the manufacture of laun- 
dry soap (save the wrappers!) recognized 
instantly the poor and discerning scholar, a 



224 "What You Want" 

worthy object of his caliphanous mood. He 
descended the two shallow stone steps that 
led from the sidewalk, and addressed without 
hesitation the object of his designed mu- 
nificence. His first words were no worse than 
salutatory and tentative. 

James Turner looked up coldly, with " Sar- 
tor Resartus" in one hand and "A Mad 
Marriage" in the other. 

"Beat it," said he. "I don't want to buy 
any coat hangers or town lots in Hankipoo, 
New Jersey. Run along, now, and play with 
your Teddy bear." 

"Young man," said the caliph, ignoring 
the flippancy of the hat cleaner, "I observe 
that you are of a studious disposition. Learn- 
ing is one of the finest things in the world. I 
never had any of it worth mentioning, but I 
admire to see it in others. I come from the 
West, where we imagine nothing but facts. 
Maybe I couldn't understand the poetry and 
allusions in them books you are picking over, 
but I like to see somebody else seem to know 
what they mean. Now, I'd like to make you 
a proposition. I'm worth about $40,000,000, 
and I'm getting richer every day. I made 
the height of it manufacturing Aunt Patty's 



"What You Want" 225 

Silver Soap. I invented the art of making it. 
I experimented for three years before I got 
just the right quantity of chloride of sodium 
solution and caustic potash mixture to curdle 
properly. And after I had taken some 
$9,000,000 out of the soap business I made the 
rest in corn and wheat futures. Now, you 
seem to have the literary and scholarly turn 
of character; and I'll tell you what I'll do. 
I'll pay for your education at the finest 
college in the world. I'll pay the expense of 
your rummaging over Europe and the art 
galleries, and finally set you up in a good 
business. You needn't make it soap if you 
have any objections. I see by your clothes 
and frazzled necktie that you are mighty poor; 
and you can't afford to turn down the offer. 
Well, when do you want to begin?" 

The hat cleaner turned upon old Tom the 
eye of the Big City, which is an eye expressive 
of cold and justifiable suspicion, of judgment 
suspended as high as Haman was hung, of 
self-preservation, of challenge, curiosity, de- 
fiance, cynicism, and, strange as you may 
think it, of a childlike yearning for friendliness 
and fellowship that must be hidden when one 
walks among the "stranger bands." For in 



226 "What You Want" 

New Bagdad one, in order to survive, must 
suspect whosoever sits, dwells, drinks, rides, 
walks, or sleeps in the adjacent chair, house, 
booth, seat, path, or room. 

"Say, Mike/' said James Turner, "what's 
your line, anyway shoe laces? I'm not 
buying anything. You better put an egg 
in your shoe and beat it before incidents 
occur to you. You can't work off any fountain 
pens, gold spectacles you found on the 
street, or trust company certificate house 
clearings on me. Say, do I look like I'd 
climbed down one of them missing fire-escapes 
at Helicon Hall? What's vitiating you, any- 
how?" 

" Son," said the caliph, in his most Harunish 
tones, "as I said, I'm worth $40,000,000. I 
don't want to have it all put in my coffin when 
I die. I want to do some good with it. I 
seen you handling over these here volumes of 
literature, and I thought I'd keep you. I've 
give the missionary societies $2,000,000, but 
what did I get out of it? Nothing but a 
receipt from the secretary. Now, you are just 
the kind of young man I'd like to take up and 
see what money could make of him." 

Volumes of Clark Russell were hard to find 



"What You Want" 227 

that evening at the Old Book Shop. And 
James Turner's smarting and aching feet did 
not tend to improve his temper. Humble hat 
cleaner though he was, he had a spirit equal 
to any caliph's. 

"Say, you old faker," he said, angrily, "be 
on your way. I don't know what your game 
is, unless you want change for a bogus 
$40,000,000 bill. Well, I don't carry that 
much around with me. But I do carry a 
pretty fair left-handed punch that you'll get 
if you don't move on." 

"You are a blamed impudent little gutter 
pup," said the caliph. 

Then James delivered his self-praised punch; 
old Tom seized him by the collar and kicked 
him thrice; the hat cleaner rallied and clinched; 
two bookstands were overturned, and the 
books sent flying. A cop came up, took an 
arm of each, and marched them to the nearest 
station house. " Fighting and disorderly con- 
duct," said the cop to the sergeant. 

"Three hundred dollars bail," said the 
sergeant at once, asseveratingly and inquir- 
ingly. 

"Sixty-three cents," said James Turner 
with a harsh laugh. 



228 "What You Want" 

The caliph searched his pockets and col- 
lected small bills and change amounting to 
four dollars. 

"I am worth," he said, "forty million 
dollars, but- 

"Lock 'em up," ordered the sergeant. 

In his cell, James Turner laid himself on 
his cot, ruminating. "Maybe he's got the 
money, and maybe he ain't. But if he has 
or he ain't what does he want to go 'round 
butting into other folks's business for? When 
a man knows what he wants, and can get it, 
it's the same as $40,000,000 to him." 

Then an idea came to him that brought a 
pleased look to his face. 

He removed his socks, drew his cot close to 
the door, stretched himself out luxuriously, and 
placed his tortured feet against the cold bars 
of the cell door. Something hard and bulky 
under the blankets of his cot gave one shoulder 
discomfort. He reached under, and drew out 
a paper-covered volume by Clark Russell 
called "A Sailor's Sweetheart." He gave a 
great sigh of contentment. 

Presently to his cell came the doorman and 
said: 

"Say, kid, that old gazabo that was pinched 



"What You Want" 229 

with you for scrapping seems to have been 
the goods after all. He 'phoned to his friends, 
and he's out at the desk now with a roll of 
yellowbacks as big as a Pullman car pillow. 
He wants to bail you, and for you to come 
out to see him." 

"Tell him I ain't in," said James Turner. 



XX 

THE CLARION CALL 

HALF of this story can be found in the 
records of the Police Department; the other 
half belongs behind the business counter of a 
newspaper office. 

One afternoon two weeks after Million- 
aire Norcross was found in his apartment 
murdered by a burglar, the murderer, while 
strolling serenely down Broadway, ran plump 
against Detective Barney Woods. 

"Is that you, Johnny Kernan?" asked 
Woods, who had been near-sighted in public 
for five years. 

"No less," cried Kernan heartily. "If it 
isn't Barney Woods, late and early of old 
Saint Jo! You'll have to show me! What 
are you doing East? Do the green-goods 
circulars get out that far?" 

"I've been in New York some years," 
said Woods. "I'm on the city detective 
force." 

230 



The Clarion Call 231 

"Well, well!" said Kernan, breathing smil- 
ing joy and patting the detective's arm. 

"Come into Muller's," said Woods, "and 
let's hunt a quiet table. I'd like to talk to 
you awhile." 

It lacked a few minutes to the hour of four. 
The tides of trade were not yet loosed, and 
they found a quiet corner of the cafe. Ker- 
nan, well dressed, slightly swaggering, self- 
confident, seated himself opposite the little 
detective, with his pale, sandy moustache, 
squinting eyes, and ready-made cheviot suit. 

"What business are you in now?" asked 
Woods. "You know you left Saint Jo a year 
before I did." 

"I'm selling shares in a copper mine," said 
Kernan. "I may establish an office here. 
Well, well! and so old Barney is a New York 
detective. You always had a turn that way. 
You were on the police in Saint Jo after I left 
there, weren't you?" 

"Six months," said Woods. "And now 
there's one more question, Johnny. I've 
followed your record pretty close ever since 
you did that hotel job in Saratoga, and I 
never knew you to use your gun before. 
Why did you kill Norcross?" 



232 The Clarion Call 

Kernan stared for a few moments with con- 
centrated attention at the slice of lemon in 
his high-ball; and then he looked at the detec- 
tive with a sudden, crooked, brilliant smile. 

"How did you guess it, Barney?" he asked 
admiringly. "I swear I thought the job was 
as clean and as smooth as a peeled onion. 
Did I leave a string hanging out anywhere?" 

Woods laid upon the table a small gold 
pencil intended for a watch-charm. 

"It's the one I gave you the last Christmas 
we were in Saint Jo. I've got your shaving 
mug yet. I found this under a corner of the 
rug in Norcross's room. I warn you to be 
careful what you say. I've got it put on to 
you, Johnny. We were old friends once, but 
I must do my duty. You'll have to go to the 
chair for Norcross." 

Kernan laughed. 

"My luck stays with me," said he, 
"Who'd have thought old Barney was on 
my trail!" He slipped one hand inside his 
coat. In an instant Woods had a revolver 
against his side. 

"Put it away," said Kernan, wrinkling his 
nose. "I'm only investigating. Aha! It 
takes nine tailors to make a man. but one 



The Clarion Call 233 

can do a man up. There's a hole in that vest 
pocket. I took that pencil off my chain and 
slipped it in there in case of a scrap. Put 
up your gun, Barney, and I'll tell you why I 
had to shoot Norcross. The old fool started 
down the hall after me, popping at the but- 
tons on the back of my coat with a peevish 
little .22 and I had to stop him. The old 
lady was a darling. She just lay in bed and 
saw her $12,000 diamond necklace go with- 
out a chirp, while she begged like a pan- 
handler to have back a little thin gold ring 
with a garnet worth about $3. I guess she 
married old Norcross for his money, all 
right. Don't they hang on to the little 
trinkets from the Man Who Lost Out, though ? 
There were six rings, two brooches, and a 
chatelaine watch. Fifteen thousand would 
cover the lot." 

"I warned you not to talk," said Woods. 

"Oh, that's all right," said Kernan. "The 
stuff is in my suit case at the hotel. And now 
I'll tell you why I'm talking. Because it's 
safe. I'm talking to a man I know. You 
owe me a thousand dollars, Barney Woods, 
and even if you wanted to arrest me your 
hand wouldn't make the move." 



234 The Clarion Call 

"I havenft forgotten," said Woods. "You 
counted out twenty fifties without a word. 
Fll pay it back some day. That thousand 
saved me and well, they were piling my 
furniture out on the sidewalk when I got back 
to the house." 

"And so," continued Kernan, "you being 
Barney Woods, born as true as steel, and 
bound to play a white man's game, can't 
lift a finger to arrest the man you're indebted 
to. Oh, I have to study men as well as Yale 
locks and window fastenings in my business. 
Now, keep quiet while I ring for the waiter. 
I've had a thirst for a year or two that wor- 
ries me a little. If I'm ever caught the lucky 
sleuth will have to divide honours with old 
boy Booze. But I never drink during busi- 
ness hours. After a job I can crook elbows 
with my old friend Barney with a clear con- 
science. What are you taking?" 

The waiter came with the little decanters 
and the siphon and left them alone again. 

" You've called the turn," said Woods, as 
he rolled the little gold pencil about with a 
thoughtful forefinger. "I've got to pass you 
up. I can't lay a hand on you. If I'd a-paid 
that money back but I didn't, and that 

/ V 



The Clarion Call 235 

settles it. It's a bad break I'm making, 
Johnny, but I can't dodge it. You helped 
me once, and it calls for the same." 

"I knew it," said Kernan, raising his glass, 
with a flushed smile of self-appreciation. "I 
can judge men. Here's to Barney, for 
'he's a jolly good fellow." 

"I don't believe," went on Woods quietly, 
as if he were thinking aloud, "that if ac- 
counts had been square between you and 
me, all the money in all the banks in New 
York could have bought you out of my hands 
to-night." 

" I know it couldn't," said Kernan. "That's 
why I knew I was safe with you." 

"Most people," continued the detective, 
"look sideways at my business. They don't 
class it among the fine arts and the pro- 
fessions. But I've always taken a kind of 
fool pride in it. And here is where I go 
'busted.' I guess I'm a man first and a 
detective afterward. I've got to let you go, 
and then I've got to resign from the force. 
I guess I can drive an express wagon. Your 
thousand dollars is further off than ever, 
Johnny." 

"Oh, you're welcome to it," said Kernan, 



236 The Clarion Call 

with a lordly air. "I'd be willing to call the 
debt off, but I know you wouldn't have it. 
It was a lucky day for me when you borrowed 
it. And now, let's drop the subject. I'm 
off to the West on a morning train. I know 
a place out there where I can negotiate the 
Norcross sparks. Drink up, Barney, and 
forget your troubles. We'll have a jolly 
time while the police are knocking their 
heads together over the case. I've got one 
of my Sahara thirsts on to-night. But I'm 
in the hands the unofficial hands of my 
old friend Barney, and I won't even dream of 
a cop." 

And then, as Kernan's ready finger kept 
the button and the waiter working, his weak 
point a tremendous vanity and arrogant 
egotism, began to show itself. He recounted 
story after story of his successful plunderings, 
ingenious plots and infamous transgressions 
until Woods, with all his familiarity with 
evil-doers, felt growing within him a cold ab- 
horrence toward the utterly vicious man who 
had once been his benefactor. 

"I'm disposed of, of course," said Woods, 
at length. "But I advise you to keep under 
cover for a spell. The newspapers may take 



The Clarion Call 237 

up this Norcross affair. There has been an 
epidemic of burglaries and manslaughter in 
town this summer." 

The word sent Kernan into a high glow of 
sullen and vindictive rage. 

"To h 1 with the newspapers/' he growled. 
"What do they spell but brag and blow and 
boodle in box-car letters? Suppose they do 
take up a case what does it amount to? 
The police are easy enough to fool; but what 
do the newspapers do? They send a lot of 
pin-head reporters around to the scene; and 
they make for the nearest saloon and have 
beer while they take photos of the bartender's 
oldest daughter in evening dress, to print as 
the fiancee of the young man in the tenth 
story, who thought he heard a noise below 
on the night of the murder. That's about as 
near as the newspapers ever come to running 
down Mr. Burglar." 

"Well, I don't know," said Woods, reflect- 
ing. "Some of the papers have done good 
work in that line. There's* the Morning 
Mars, for instance. It warmed up two or 
three trails, and got the man after the police 
had let 'em get cold." 

"I'll show you," said Kernan, rising, and 



238 The Clarion Call 

expanding his chest. "I'll show you what I 
think of newspapers in general, and your 
Morning Mars in particular." 

Three feet from their table was the tele- 
phone booth. Kernan went inside and sat 
at the instrument, leaving the door open. 
He found a number in the book, took down 
the receiver and made his demand upon Cen- 
tral. Woods sat still, looking at the sneering, 
cold, vigilant face waiting close to the trans- 
mitter, and listened to the words that came 
from the thin, truculent lips curved into a con- 
temptuous smile. 

"That the Morning Mars? . . . I want 
to speak to the managing editor . 
Why, tell him it's some one who wants to 
talk to him about the Norcross murder. 

"You the editor? . . . All right. . . . 
I am the man who killed old Norcross . . . 
Wait! Hold the wire; I'm not the usual 
crank . . . Oh, there isn't the slightest 
danger. I've just been discussing it with a 
detective friend of mine. I killed the old 
man at 2:30 A. M. two weeks ago to-morrow 
. . . Have a drink with you? Now, hadn't 
you better leave that kind of talk to your 
funny man? Can't you tell whether a man's 



The Clarion Call 239 

guying you or whether you're being offered 
the biggest scoop your dull dishrag of a paper 
ever had ? . . . Well, that's so; it's a bob- 
tail scoop but you can hardly expect me to 
'phone in my name and address. . . . 
Why? Oh, because I heard you make a 
specialty of solving mysterious crimes that 
stump the police. . . . No, that's not 
all. I want to tell you that your rotten, 
lying, penny sheet is of no more use in track- 
ing an intelligent murderer or highwayman 
than a blind poodle would be. ... What ? 
. . . Oh, no, this isn't a rival newspaper 
office; you're getting it straight. I did the 
Norcross job, and I've got the jewels in my 
suit case at 'the name of the hotel could 
not be learned' you recognize that phrase, 
don't you? I thought so. You've used it 
often enough. Kind of rattles you, doesn't 
it, to have the mysterious villain call up your 
great, big, all-powerful organ of right and jus- 
tice and good government and tell you what a 
helpless old gas-bag you are? . . . Cut 
that out; you're not that big a fool no, you 
don't think I'm a fraud. I can tell it by your 
voice. . . . Now, listen, and I'll give 
you a pointer that will prove it to you, Of 



240 The Clarion Call 

course youVe had this murder case worked 
over by your staff of bright young blockheads. 
Half of the second button on old Mrs. Nor- 
cross's nightgown is broken off. I saw it when 
I took the garnet ring off her finger. I thought 
it was a ruby. . . . Stop that! it won't 
work." 

Kernan turned to Woods with a diabolic 
smile. 

"I've got him going. He believes me now. 
He didn't quite cover the transmitter with 
his hand when he told somebody to call up 
Central on another 'phone and get our num- 
ber. I'll give him just one more dig, and 
then we'll make a 'get-away/ 

"Hello! . . . Yes. I'm here yet. You 
didn't think I'd run from such a little sub- 
sidized, turncoat rag of a newspaper, did 
you? . . . Have me inside of forty-eight 
hours? Say, will you quit being funny? 
Now, you let grown men alone and attend 
to your business of hunting up divorce cases 
and street-car accidents and printing the 
filth and scandal that you make your living 
by. Good-bye, old boy sorry I haven't time 
to call on you. I'd feel perfectly safe in your 
sanctum asinorum. Tra-la!" 



The Clarion Call 241 

"He's as mad as a cat that's lost a mouse," 
said Kernan, hanging up the receiver and com- 
ing out. "And now, Barney, my boy, we'll 
go to a show and enjoy ourselves until a 
reasonable bedtime. Four hours' sleep for 
me, and then the west-bound." 

The two dined in a Broadway restaurant. 
Kernan was pleased with himself. He spent 
money like a prince of fiction. And then a 
weird and gorgeous musical comedy engaged 
their attention. Afterward there was a late 
supper in a grillroom, with champagne, and 
Kernan at the height of his complacency. 

Half-past three in the morning found them 
in a corner of an all-night cafe, Kernan still 
boasting in a vapid and rambling way, Woods 
thinking moodily over the end that had come 
to his usefulness as an upholder of the law. 

But, as he pondered, his eye brightened with 
a speculative light. 

"I wonder if it's possible," he said to him- 
self, "I won-der if it's pos-si-ble!" 

And then outside the cafe the comparative 
stillness of the early morning was punctured 
by faint, uncertain cries that seemed mere 
fireflies of sound, some growing louder, some 
fainter, waxing and waning amid the rumble 



242 The Clarion Call 

of milk wagons and infrequent cars. Shrill 
cries they were when near well-known cries 
that conveyed many meanings to the ears of 
those of the slumbering millions of the great 
city who waked to hear them. Cries that 
bore upon their significant, small volume the 
weight of a world's woe and laughter and de- 
light and stress. To some, cowering beneath 
the protection of a night's ephemeral cover, 
they brought news of the hideous, bright 
day; to others, wrapped in happy sleep, they 
announced a morning that would dawn blacker 
than sable night. To many of the rich they 
brought a besom to sweep away what had 
been theirs while the stars shone; to the poor 
they brought another day. 

All over the city the cries were starting up, 
keen and sonorous, heralding the chances that 
the slipping of one cogwheel in the machinery 
of time had made; apportioning to the sleepers 
while they lay at the mercy of fate, the ven- 
geance, profit, grief, reward, and doom that 
the new figure in the calendar had brought 
them. Shrill and yet plaintive were the cries, 
as if the young voices grieved that so much 
evil and so little good was in their irrespon- 
sible hands. Thus echoed in the streets of 



The Clarion Call 243 

the helpless city the transmission of the latest 
decrees of the gods, the cries of the newsboys 
the Clarion Call of the Press. 

Woods flipped a dime to the waiter, and 
said: 

"Get me a Morning Mars." 

When the paper came he glanced at its 
first page, and then tore a leaf out of his 
memorandum book and began to write on it 
with the little gold pencil. 

"What's the news?' 5 yawned Kernan. 

Woods flipped over to him the piece of 
writing: 

THE NEW YORK "MORNING MARS": 

Please pay to the order of John Kernan the one 
thousand dollars reward coming to me for his arrest 
and conviction. 

BARNARD WOODS. 

"I kind of thought they would do that," 
said Woods, "when you were jollying 'em 
so hard. Now, Johnny, you'll come to the 
police station with me." 



XXI 

A RETRIEVED REFORMATION 

A GUARD came to the prison shoe-shop, 
where Jimmy Valentine was assiduously 
stitching uppers, and escorted him to the 
front office. There the warden handed Jim- 
my his pardon, which had been signed that 
morning by the governor. Jimmy took it in a 
tired kind of way. He had served nearly ten 
months of a four-year sentence. He had ex- 
pected to stay only about three months, at the 
longest. When a man with as many friends 
on the outside as Jimmy Valentine had is 
received in the "stir" it is hardly worth while 
to cut his hair. 

"Now, Valentine/' said the warden, "you'll 
go out in the morning. Brace up, and make 
a man of yourself. You're not a bad fellow 
at heart. Stop cracking safes, and live 
straight." 

"Me?" said Jimmy, in surprise. "Why, I 
never cracked a safe in my life." 

244 



A Retrieved Reformation 245 

"Oh, no/' laughed the warden. "Of course 
not. Let's see, now. How was it you hap- 
pened to get sent up on that Springfield job ? 
Was it because you wouldn't prove an alibi 
for fear of compromising somebody in ex- 
tremely high-toned society ? Or was it simply 
a case of a mean old jury that had it in for 
you? It's always one or the other with you 
innocent victims." 

"Me?" said Jimmy, still blankly virtuous. 
"Why, warden, I never was in Springfield in 
my life!" 

"Take him back, Cronin," smiled the war- 
den, "and fix him up with outgoing clothes. 
Unlock him at seven in the morning, and let 
him come to the bull-pen. Better think over 
my advice, Valentine." 

At a quarter past seven on the next morn- 
ing Jimmy stood in the warden's outer office. 
He had on a suit of the villainously fitting, 
ready-made clothes and a pair of the stiff, 
squeaky shoes that the state furnishes to its 
discharged compulsory guests. 

The clerk handed him a railroad ticket and 
the five-dollar bill with which the law expected 
him to rehabilitate himself into good citizen- 
ship and prosperity. The warden gave him 



246 A Retrieved Reformation 

a cigar, and shook hands. Valentine, 9762, 
was chronicled on the books "Pardoned by 
Governor," and Mr. James Valentine walked 
out into the sunshine. 

Disregarding the song of the birds, the wav- 
ing green trees, and the smell of the flowers, 
Jimmy headed straight for a restaurant. 
There he tasted the first sweet joys of liberty 
in the shape of a broiled chicken and a bottle 
of white wine followed by a cigar a grade 
better than the one the warden had given him. 
From there he proceeded leisurely to the 
depot. He tossed a quarter into the hat of a 
blind man sitting by the door, and boarded 
his train. Three hours set him down in a 
little town near the state line. He went to 
the cafe of one Mike Dolan and shook hands 
with Mike, who was alone behind the bar. 

" Sorry we couldn't make it sooner, Jimmy, 
me boy," said Mike. "But we had that pro- 
test from Springfield to buck against, and the 
governor nearly balked. Feeling all right?" 

" Fine," said Jimmy. " Got my key ? " 

He got his key and went upstairs, unlocking 
the door of a room at the rear. Everything 
was just as he had left it. There on the floor 
was still Ben Price's collar-button that had 



A Retrieved Reformation 247 

been torn from that eminent detective's 
shirt-band when they had overpowered Jimmy 
to arrest him. 

Pulling out from the wall a folding-bed, 
Jimmy slid back a panel in the wall and drag- 
ged out a dust-covered suit-case. He opened 
this and gazed fondly at the finest set of bur- 
glar's tools in the East. It was a complete set, 
made of specially tempered steel, the latest 
designs in drills, punches, braces, and bits, 
jimmies, clamps, and augers, with two or 
three novelties, invented by Jimmy himself, 
in which he took pride. Over nine hundred 
dollars they had cost him to have made at 

, a place where they make such things for 
the profession. 

In half an hour Jimmy went downstairs 
and through the cafe. He was now dressed 
in tasteful and well-fitting clothes, and car- 
ried his dusted and cleaned suit-case in his 
hand. 

"Got anything on?" asked Mike Dolan 
genially. 

"Me?" said Jimmy, in a puzzled tone. 
"I don't understand. I'm representing the 
New York Amalgamated Short Snap Biscuit 
Cracker and Frazzled Wheat Company." 



248 A Retrieved Reformation 

This statement delighted Mike to such an 
extent that Jimmy had to take a seltzer-and- 
milk on the spot. He never touched "hard" 
drinks. 

A week after the release of Valentine, 9762, 
there was a neat job of safe-burglary done in 
Richmond, Indiana, with no clue to the 
author. A scant eight hundred dollars was 
all that was secured. Two weeks after that 
a patented, improved, burglar-proof safe in 
Logansport was opened like a cheese to the 
tune of fifteen hundred dollars, currency; 
securities and silver untouched. That began 
to interest the rogue-catchers. Then an old- 
fashioned bank-safe in Jefferson City became 
active and threw out of its crater an eruption 
of bank-notes amounting to five thousand 
dollars. The losses were now high enough 
to bring the matter up into Ben Price's class 
of work. By comparing notes, a remark- 
able similarity in the methods of the burglar- 
ies was noticed. Ben Price investigated the 
scenes of the robberies, and was heard to re- 
mark: 

"That's Dandy Jim Valentine's auto- 
graph. He's resumed business. Look at that 
combination knob jerked out as easy as 



A Retrieved Reformation 249 

pulling up a radish in wet weather. He's got 
the only clamps that can do it. And look 
how clean those tumblers were punched out! 
Jimmy never has to drill but one hole. Yes, 
I guess I want Mr. Valentine. He'll do his 
bit next time without any short-time or 
clemency foolishness." 

Ben Price knew Jimmy's habits. He had 
learned them while working up the Spring- 
field case. Long jumps, quick get-aways, no 
confederates, and a taste for good society 
these ways had helped Mr. Valentine to be- 
come noted as a successful dodger of retri- 
bution. It was given out that Ben Price had 
taken up the trail of the elusive cracksman, 
and other people with burglar-proof safes 
felt more at ease. 

One afternoon Jimmy Valentine and his 
suit-case climbed out of the mail-hack in El- 
more, a little town five miles off the railroad 
down in the black-jack country of Arkansas. 
Jimmy, looking like an athletic young senior 
just home from college, went down the board 
side-walk toward the hotel. 

A young lady crossed the street, passed him 
at the corner, and entered a door over which 
was the sign "The Elmore Bank." Jimmy 



250 A Retrieved Reformation 

Valentine looked into her eyes, forgot what 
he was, and became another man. She low- 
ered her eyes and coloured slightly. Young 
men of Jimmy's style and looks were scarce 
in Elmore. 

Jimmy collared a boy that was loafing on 
the steps of the bank as if he were one of the 
stockholders, and began to ask him ques- 
tions about the town, feeding him dimes at 
intervals. By and by the young lady came 
out, looking royally unconscious of the young 
man with the suit-case, and went her way. 

"Isn't that young lady Miss Polly Simp- 
son?" asked Jimmy, with specious guile. 

"Naw," said the boy. "She's Annabel 
Adams. Her pa owns this bank. What'd 
you come to Elmore for? Is that a gold 
watch-chain? I'm going to get a bulldog. 
Got any more dimes?" 

Jimmy went to the Planters' Hotel, regis- 
tered as Ralph D. Spencer, and engaged a 
room. He leaned on the desk and declared 
his platform to the clerk. He said he had 
come to Elmore to look for a location to go 
into business. How was the shoe business, 
now, in the town? He had thought of the 
shoe business. Was there an opening? 



A Retrieved Reformation 251 

The clerk was impressed by the clothes 
and manner of Jimmy. He, himself, was 
something of a pattern of fashion to the 
thinly gilded youth of Elmore, but he now 
perceived his shortcomings. While trying to 
figure out Jimmy's manner of tying his four- 
in-hand he cordially gave information. 

Yes, there ought to be a good opening in 
the shoe line. There wasn't an exclusive 
shoe-store in the place. The dry-goods and 
general stores handled them. Business in all 
lines was fairly good. Hoped Mr. Spencer 
would decide to locate in Elmore. He would 
find it a pleasant town to live in, and the 
people very sociable. 

Mr. Spencer thought he would stop over in 
the town a few days and look over the situa- 
tion. No, the clerk needn't call the boy. 
He would carry up his suit-case, himself; it 
was rather heavy. 

Mr. Ralph Spencer, the phoenix that arose 
from Jimmy Valentine's ashes ashes left 
by the flame of a sudden and alterative at- 
tack of love remained in Elmore, and pros- 
pered. He opened a shoe-store and secured 
a good run of trade. 

Socially he was also a success, and made 



252 A Retrieved Reformation 

many friends. And he accomplished the 
wish of his heart. He met Miss Annabel 
Adams, and became more and more captivated 
by her charms. 

At the end of a year the situation of Mr. 
Ralph Spencer was this: he had won the 
respect of the community, his shoe-store was 
flourishing, and he and Annabel were engaged 
to be married in two weeks. Mr. Adams, 
the typical, plodding, country banker, ap- 
proved of Spencer. Annabel's pride in him 
almost equalled her affection. He was as 
much at home in the family of Mr. Adams 
and that of Annabel's married sister as if 
he were already a member. 

One day Jimmy sat down in his room and 
wrote this letter, which he mailed to the safe 
address of one of his old friends in St. Louis: 



DEAR OLD PAL: 

I want you to be at Sullivan's place, in Little Rock, 
next Wednesday night, at nine o'clock. I want you 
to wind up some little matters for me. And, also, 
want to make you a present of my kit of tools. I 
know you'll be glad to get them you couldn't dupli- 
cate the lot for a thousand dollars. Say, Billy, I've 
quit the old business a year ago. I've got a nice 
store. I'm making an honest living, and I'm going 



A Retrieved Reformation 253 

i 

to marry the finest girl on earth two weeks from noXv. 
It's the only life, Billy the straight one. I wouldn't; 
touch a dollar of another man's money now for a mil- 
lion. After I get married I'm going to sell out and go 
West, where there won't be so much danger of having 
old scores brought up against me. I tell you, Billy, 
she's an angel. She believes in me; and I wouldn't 
do another crooked thing for the whole world. Be 
sure to be at Sully's, for I must see you. I'll bring 
along the tools with me. 

Your old friend, 

JIMMY. 

On the Monday night after Jimmy wrote 
this letter, Ben Price jogged unobtrusively 
into Elmore in a livery buggy. He lounged 
about town in his quiet way until he found 
out what he wanted to know. From the 
drug-store across the street from Spencer's 
shoe-store he got a good look at Ralph D. 
Spencer. 

"Going to marry the banker's daughter 
are you, Jimmy?" said Ben to himself softly. 
"Well, I don't know!" 

The next morning Jimmy took breakfast 
at the Adamses. He was going to Little 
Rock that day to order his wedding-suit and 
buy something nice for Annabel. That would 
be the first time he had left town since he 



254 A Retrieved Reformation 

came to Elmore. It had been more than a 
year now since those last professional "jobs," 
and he thought he could safely venture out. 

After breakfast quite a family party went 
downtown together Mr. Adams, Annabel, 
Jimmy, and Annabel's married sister with 
her two little girls, aged five and nine. They 
came by the hotel where Jimmy still boarded, 
and he ran up to his room and brought along 
his suit-case. Then they went on to the 
bank. There stood Jimmy's horse and buggy 
and Dolph Gibson, who was going to drive 
him over to the railroad station. 

All went inside the high, carved oak rail- 
ings into the banking-room Jimmy included, 
for Mr. Adams's future son-in-law was wel- 
come anywhere. The clerks were pleased to 
be greeted by the good-looking, agreeable 
young man who was going to marry Miss 
Annabel. Jimmy set his suit-case down. 
Annabel, whose heart was bubbling with 
happiness and lively youth, put on Jimmy's 
hat, and picked up the suit-case. "Wouldn't 
I make a nice drummer?" said Annabel. 
"My! Ralph, how heavy it is? Feels like 
it was full of gold bricks." 

"Lot of nickel-plated shoe-horns in there," 



A Retrieved Reformation 255 

said Jimmy, coolly, "that I'm going to return. 
Thought I'd save express charges by taking 
them up. I'm getting awfully economical." 

The Elmore Bank had just put in a new 
safe and vault. Mr. Adams was very proud 
of it, and insisted on an inspection by every 
one. The vault was a small one, but it had 
a new, patented door. It fastened with 
three solid steel bolts thrown simultaneously 
with a single handle, and had a time-lock. 
Mr. Adams beamingly explained its workings 
to Mr. Spencer, who showed a courteous 
but not too intelligent interest. The two 
children, May and Agatha, were delighted by 
the shining metal and funny clock and knobs. 

While they were thus engaged Ben Price 
sauntered in and leaned on his elbow, looking 
casually inside between the railings. He told 
the teller that he didn't want anything; he 
was just waiting for a man he knew. 

Suddenly there was a scream or two from 
the women, and a commotion. Unperceived 
by the elders, May, the nine-year-old girl, in 
a spirit of play, had shut Agatha in the vault. 
She had then shot the bolts and turned the 
knob of the combination as she had seen Mr. 
Adams do. 



256 A Retrieved Reformation 

The old banker sprang to the handle and 
tugged at it for a moment. "The door can't 
be opened," he groaned. "The clock hasn't 
been wound nor the combination set." 

Agatha's mother screamed again, hysteri- 
cally. 

"Hush!" said Mr. Adams, raising his 
trembling hand. "All be quiet for a moment. 
Agatha!" he called as loudly as he could. 
" Listen to me." During the following silence 
they could just hear the faint sound of the 
child wildly shrieking in the dark vault in a 
panic of terror. 

"My precious darling!" wailed the mother. 
"She will die of fright! Open the door! 
Oh, break it open! Can't you men do some- 
thing?" 

"There isn't a man nearer than Little Rock 
who can open that door," said Mr. Adams, in 
a shaky voice. "My God! Spencer, what 
shall we do? That child she can't stand it 
long in there. There isn't enough air, and, 
besides, she'll go into convulsions from fright." 

Agatha's mother, frantic now, beat the 
door of the vault with her hands. Somebody 
wildly suggested dynamite. Annabel turned 
to Jimmy, her large eyes full of anguish, but 



A Retrieved Reformation 257 

not yet despairing. To a woman nothing 
seems quite impossible to the powers of the 
man she worships. 

"Can't you do something, Ralph try, 
won't you?" 

He looked at her with a queer, soft smile on 
his lips and in his keen eyes. 

"Annabel," he said, "give me that rose you 
are wearing, will you?" 

Hardly believing that she heard him aright, 
she unpinned the bud from the bosom of her 
dress, and placed it in his hand. Jimmy stuf- 
fed it into his vest-pocket, threw off his coat, 
and pulled up his shirt-sleeves. With that 
act Ralph D. Spencer passed away and 
Jimmy Valentine took his place. 

"Get away from the door, all of you," he 
commanded shortly. 

He set his suit-case on the table, and opened 
it out flat. From that time on he seemed to 
be unconscious of the presence of any one else. 
He laid out the shining, queer implements 
swiftly and orderly, whistling softly to him- 
self as he always did when at work. In 
a deep silence and immovable, the others 
watched him as if under a spell. 

In a minute Jimmy's pet drill was biting 



258 A Retrieved Reformation 

smoothly into the steel door. In ten min- 
utes breaking his own burglarious record- 
he threw back the bolts and opened the door. 

Agatha, almost collapsed, but safe, was 
gathered into her mother's arms. 

Jimmy Valentine put on his coat, and 
walked outside the railings toward the front 
door. As he went he thought he heard a far- 
away voice that he once knew call "Ralph!" 
But he never hesitated. 

At the door a big man stood somewhat in 
his way. 

"Hello, Ben!" said Jimmy, still with his 
strange smile "Got around at last, have 
you? Well, let's go. I don't know that it 
makes much difference, now." 

And then Ben Price acted rather strangely. 

"Guess you're mistaken, Mr. Spencer," he 
said. "Don't believe I recognize you. Your 
buggy's waiting for you, ain't it?" 

And Ben Price turned and strolled down 
the street. 



XXII 

A DOUBLE-DYED DECEIVER 

THE trouble began in Laredo. It was the 
Llano Kid's fault, for he should have confined 
his habit of manslaughter to Mexicans. But 
the Kid was past twenty; and to have only 
Mexicans to one's credit at twenty is to blush 
unseen on the Rio Grande border. 

It happened in old Justo Valdos's gambling 
house. There was a poker game at which sat 
players who were not all friends, as happens 
often where men ride in from afar to shoot 
Folly as she gallops. There was a row over so 
small a matter as a pair of queens; and when 
the smoke had cleared away it was found that 
the Kid had committed an indiscretion, and 
his adversary had been guilty of a blunder. 
For, the unfortunate combatant, instead of 
being a Greaser, was a high-blooded youth 
from the cow ranches, of about the Kid's 
own age and possessed of friends and cham- 
pions. His blunder in missing the Kid's 
259 



260 A Double-Dyed Deceiver 

right ear only a sixteenth of an inch when he 
pulled his gun did not lessen the indiscretion 
of the better marksman. 

The Kid, not being equipped with a ret- 
inue, nor bountifully supplied with personal 
admirers and supporters on account of a 
rather umbrageous reputation, even for the 
border considered it not incompatible with 
his indisputable gameness to perform that 
judicious tractional act known as "pulling 
his freight." 

Quickly the avengers gathered and sought 
him. Three of them overtook him within 
a rod of the station. The Kid turned and 
showed his teeth in that brilliant but mirthless 
smile that usually preceded his deeds of in- 
solence and violence, and his pursuers fell 
back without making it necessary for him 
even to reach for his weapon. 

But in this affair the Kid had not felt the 
grim thirst for encounter that usually urged 
him on to battle. It had been a purely 
chance row, born of the cards and certain 
epithets impossible for a gentleman to brook 
that had passed between the two. The Kid 
had rather liked the slim, haughty, brown- 
faced young chap whom his bullet had cut 



,^A Double-Dyed Deceiver 261 

off in the first pride of manhood. And now 
he wanted no more blood. He wanted to 
get away and have a good long sleep some- 
where in the sun on the mesquite grass with 
his handkerchief over his face. Even a 
Mexican might have crossed his path in 
safety while he was in this mood. 

The Kid openly boarded the north-bound 
passenger train that departed five minutes 
later. But at Webb, a few miles out, where 
it was flagged to take on a traveller, he 
abandoned that manner of escape. There 
were telegraph stations ahead; and the Kid 
looked askance at electricity and steam. 
Saddle and spur were his rocks of safety. 

The man whom he had shot was a stranger 
to him. But the Kid knew that he was of 
the Coralitos outfit from Hidalgo; and that 
the punchers from that ranch were more re- 
lentless and vengeful than Kentucky feudists 
when wrong or harm was done to one of them. 
So, with the wisdom that has characterized 
many great fighters, the Kid decided to pile 
up as many leagues as possible of chaparral 
and pear between himself and the retaliation 
of the Coralitos bunch. 

Near the station was a store; and near the 



262 A Double-Dyed Deceiver 

store, scattered among the mesquites and 
elms, stood the saddle horses of the customers. 
Most of them waited, half asleep, with sag- 
ging limbs and drooping heads. But one, a 
long-legged roan with a curved neck, snorted 
and pawed the turf. Him the Kid mounted, 
gripped with his knees, and slapped gently 
with the owner's own quirt. 

If the slaying of the temerarious card- 
player had cast a cloud over the Kid's standing 
as a good and true citizen, this last act of 
his veiled his figure in the darkest shadows of 
disrepute. On the Rio Grande border if 
you take a man's life you sometimes take 
trash; but if you take his horse, you take a 
thing the loss of which renders him poor, in- 
deed, and which enriches you not if you are 
caught. For the Kid there was no turning 
back now. 

With the springing roan under him he felt 
little care or uneasiness. After a five-mile 
gallop he drew in to the plainsman's jogging 
trot, and rode northeastward toward the 
Nueces River bottoms. He knew the country 
well its most tortuous and obscure trails 
through the great wilderness of brush and 
pear, and its camps and lonesome ranches 



i 



A Double-Dyed Deceiver 263' 

where one might find safe entertainment. 
Always he bore to the east; for the Kid had 
never seen the ocean, and he had a fancy to 
lay his hand upon the mane of the great Gulf, 
the gamesome colt of the greater waters. 

So after three days he stood on the shore 
at Corpus Christi, and looked out across the 
gentle ripples of a quiet sea. 

Captain Boone, of the schooner Flyaway, 
stood near his skiff, which one of his crew 
was guarding in the surf. When ready to 
sail he had discovered that one of the neces- 
saries of life, in the parallelogrammatic shape 
of plug tobacco, had been forgotten. A 
sailor had been dispatched for the missing 
cargo. Meanwhile the captain paced the 
sands, chewing profanely at his pocket store. 

A slim, wiry youth in high-heeled boots 
came down to the water's edge. His face was 
boyish, but with a premature severity that 
hinted at a man's experience. His complexion 
was naturally dark; and the sun and wind of 
an outdoor life had burned it to a coffee brown. 
His hair was as black and straight as an In- 
dian's; his face had not yet been upturned to 
the humiliation of a razor; his eyes were a 
cold and steady blue. He carried his left 



264 A Double-Dyed Deceiver 

arm somewhat away from his body, for pearl- 
handled .455 are frowned upon by town mar- 
shals, and are a little bulky when packed in 
the left armhole of one's vest. He looked 
beyond Captain Boone at the gulf with 
the impersonal and expressionless dignity of 
a Chinese emperor. 

"Thinkin' of buyin' that'ar gulf, buddy?" 
asked the captain, made sarcastic by his 
narrow escape from a tobaccoless voyage. 

"Why, no," said the Kid gently, "I reckon 
not. I never saw it before. I was just 
looking at it. Not thinking of selling it, 
are you?" 

"Not this trip," said the captain. "I'll 
send it to you C. O. D. when I get back to 
Buenas Tierras. Here comes that capstan- 
footed lubber with the chewin'. I ought toVe 
weighed anchor an hour ago." 

"Is that your ship out there ?" asked the 
Kid. 

"Why, yes," answered the captain, "if 
you want to call a schooner a ship, and I 
don't mind lyin'. But you better say Miller 
and Gonzales, owners, and ordinary plain, 
Billy-be-damned old Samuel K. Boone, skip- 
per." 







'He knew the country well its most tortuous and obscure trails 
through the great wilderness" 



A Double-Dyed Deceiver 265 

"Where are you going to?" asked the ref- 
ugee. 

" Buenas Tierras, coast of South America 
I forgot what they called the country the last 
time I was there. Cargo lumber, corrugated 
iron, and machetes." 

"What kind of a country is it?" asked the 
Kid "hot or cold?" 

"Warmish, buddy," said the captain. " But 
a regular Paradise Lost for elegance of scenery 
and be-yooty of geography. Ye're wakened 
every morning by the sweet singin' of red 
birds with seven purple tails, and the sighin' 
of breezes in the posies and roses. And the 
inhabitants never work, for they can reach 
out and pick steamer baskets of the choicest 
hothouse fruit without gettin' out of bed. 
And there's no Sunday and no ice and no 
rent and no troubles and no use and no 
nothin'. It's a great country for a man to 
go to sleep with, and wait for somethin' to 
turn up. The bananys and oranges and 
hurricanes and pineapples that ye eat comes 
from there." 

"That sounds to me!" said the Kid, at last 
betraying interest. "What'll the expressage 
be to take me out there with you?" 



266 A Double-Dyed Deceiver 

"Twenty-four dollars," said Captain Boone; 
"grub and transportation. Second cabin. I 
haven't got a first cabin." 

"You've got my company," said the Kid, 
pulling out a buckskin bag. 

With three hundred dollars he had gone to 
Laredo for his regular "blowout." The duel 
in Valdos's had cut short his season of hilarity, 
but it had left him with nearly $200 for aid 
in the flight that it had made necessary. 

"All right, buddy," said the captain. "I 
hope your ma won't blame me for this little 
childish escapade of yours." He beckoned 
to one of the boat's crew. "Let Sanchez lift 
you out to the skiff so you won't get your 
feet wet." 

Thacker, the United States consul at Buenas 
Tierras, was not yet drunk. It was only 
eleven o'clock; and he never arrived at his 
desired state of beatitude a state wherein 
he sang ancient maudlin vaudeville songs and 
pelted his screaming parrot with banana 
peels until the middle of the afternoon. So, 
when he looked up from his hammock at the 
sound of a slight cough, and saw the Kid 
standing in the door of the consulate, he was 



A Double-Dyed Deceiver 267 

still in a condition to extend the hospitality 
and courtesy due from the representative of a 
great nation. "Don't disturb yourself," said 
the Kid easily. "I just dropped in. They 
told me it was customary to light at your 
camp before starting in to round up the town. 
I just came in on a ship from Texas." 

"Glad to see you, Mr. -," said the consul. 

The Kid laughed. 

"Sprague Dalton," he said. "It sounds 
funny to me to hear it. I'm called the Llano 
Kid in the Rio Grande country." 

"I'm Thacker," said the consul. "Take 
that cane-bottom chair. Now if you've come 
to invest, you want somebody to advise you. 
These dingies will cheat you out of the gold in 
your teeth if you don't understand their 
ways. Try a cigar?" 

"Much obliged," said the Kid, "but if it 
wasn't for my corn shucks and the little bag 
in my back pocket I couldn't live a minute." 
He took out his "makings," and rolled a 
cigarette. 

"They speak Spanish here," said the consul. 
"You'll need an interpreter. If there's any- 
thing I can do, why, I'd be delighted. If 
you're buying fruit lands or looking for a 



'268 A Double-Dyed Deceiver 

concession of any sort, you'll want somebody 
who knows the ropes to look out for you/ 5 

"I speak Spanish/' said the Kid, "about 
nine times better than I do English. Every- 
body speaks it on the range where I come 
from. And I'm not in the market for any- 
thing/' 

"You speak Spanish?" said Thacker 
thoughtfully. He regarded the Kid absorb- 
edly. 

"You look like a Spaniard, too," he con- 
tinued, *" And you're from Texas. And you 
can't be more than twenty or twenty-one. I 
wonder if you've got any nerve." 

"You got a deal of some kind to put 
through?" asked the Texan, with unexpected 
shrewdness. 

"Are you open to a proposition?" said 
Thacker. 

"What's the use to deny it?" said the Kid. 
"I got into a little gun frolic down in Laredo 
and plugged a white man. There wasn't any 
Mexican handy. And I come down to your 
parrot-and-monkey range just for to smell the 
morning-glories and marigolds. Now, do you 
sale ?" 

Thacker got up and closed the door. 



A Double-Dyed Deceiver, 269 

"Let me see your hand," he said. 

He took the Kid's left hand, and examined 
the back of it closely. 

"I can do it," he said excitedly. "Your 
flesh is as hard as wood and as healthy as a 
baby's. It will heal in a week." 

"If it's a v fist fight you want to back me 
for," said the Kid, "don't put your money up 
yet. Make it gun work, and I'll keep you 
company. But no barehanded scrapping, 
like ladies at a tea-party, for me." 

"It's easier than that," said Thacker. 
"Just step here, will you?" 

Through the window he pointed to a two- 
story white-stuccoed house with wide galleries 
rising amid the deep-green tropical foliage 
on a wooded hill that sloped gently from the 
sea. 

"In that house," said Thacker, "a fine old 
Castilian gentleman and his wife are yearning 
to gather you into their arms and fill your 
pockets with money. Old Santos Urique 
lives there. He owns half the gold-mines in 
the country." 

"You haven't been eating loco weed, have 
you?" asked the Kid. 

"Sit down again," said Thacker, "and I'll 



270 A Double-Dyed Deceiver 

tell you. Twelve years ago they lost a kid. 
No, he didn't die although most of 'em here 
do from drinking the surface water. He was a 
wild little devil, even if he wasn't but eight 
years old. Everybody knows about it. Some 
Americans who were through here prospecting 
for gold had letters to Senor Urique, and the 
boy was a favourite with them. They filled 
his head with big stories about the States; 
and about a month after they left, the kid 
disappeared, too. He was supposed to have 
stowed himself away among the banana 
bunches on a fruit steamer, and gone to New 
Orleans. He was seen once afterward in 
Texas, it was thought, but they never heard 
anything more of him. Old Urique has 
spent thousands of dollars having him looked 
for. The madam was broken up worst of all. 
The kid was her life. She wears mourning 
yet. But they say she believes he'll come 
back to her some day, and never gives up 
hope. On the back of the boy's left hand 
was tattooed a flying eagle carrying a spear in 
his, claws. That's old Urique's coat of arms 
or something that he inherited in Spain." 

The Kid raised his left hand slowly and 
gazed at it curiously. 



A Double-Dyed Deceiver 271 

"That's it," said Thacker, reaching behind 
the official desk for his bottle of smuggled 
brandy. "You're not so slow. I can do it. 
What was I consul at Sandakan for? I never 
knew till now. In a week I'll have the eagle 
bird with the frog-sticker blended in so you'd 
think you were born with it. I brought a 
set of the needles and ink just because I was 
sure you'd drop in some day, Mr. Dalton." 

"Oh, hell," said the Kid. "I thought I 
told you my name!" 

"All right, 'Kid,' then. It won't be that 
long. How does Senorito Urique sound, for a 
change?" 

"I never played son any that I remember 
of," said the Kid. "If I had any parents to 
mention they went over the divide about the 
time I gave my first bleat. What is the plan 
of your round-up ?" 

Thacker leaned back against the wall and 
held his glass up to the light. 

"We've come now," said he, "to the ques- 
tion of how far you're willing to go in a little 
matter of the sort." 

" I told you why I came down here," said the 
Kid simply. 

"A good answer," said the Consul. "But 



272 A Double-Dyed Deceiver 

you won't have to go that far. Here's the 
scheme. After I get the trademark tattooed 
on your hand I'll notifv old Urique. In the 
meantime I'll furnish y with all of the 
family history I can find out, so you can be 
studying up points to talk about. You've 
got the looks, you speak the Spanish, you know 
the facts, you can tell about Texas, you've 
got the tattoo mark. When I notify them 
that the rightful heir has returned and is 
waiting f r^ " whether he will be received 
and paraone6 what will happen? They'll 
simply rush dt^wn here and fall on your neck, 
and the curtain goes down for refreshments 
and a stroll in the lobby." 

"I'm waiting," said the Kid. "I haven't 
had my saddle off in your camp long, pardner, 
and I never met you before ; but if you intend 
to let it go at a parental blessing, why, I'm 
mistaken in my man, that's all." 

"Thanks," said the consul. "I haven't 
met anybody in a long time that keeps up 
with an argument as well as you do. The 
rest of it is simple. If they take you in only 
for a while it's long enough. Don't give 'em 
time to hunt up the strawberry mark on your 
left shoulder. Old Urique keeps anywhere 



A Double-Dyed Deceiver 273 

from $50,000 to $100,000 in his house all the 
time in a little safe that you could open with a 
shoe buttoner. Get it. My skill as a tat- 
tooer is worth half v boodle. We go halves 
and catch a tramp steamer for Rio Janeiro. 
Let the United States go to pieces if it can't 
get along without my services. Que dice, 
senor?" 

"It sounds to me!" said the Kid, nodding 
his head. "I'm out for the dust." 

"All right, then," said THr^r "You'll 
have to keep close until we . tui bird on 
you. You can live in the ba :k room here. 
I do my own cooking, and I'll make you as 
comfortable as a parsimonious Government 
will allow me." < 

Thacker had set the time at a week, but it 
was two weeks before the design that he 
patiently tattooed upon the Kid's hand was 
to his notion. And then Thacker called a 
muchacho, and dispatched this note to the 
intended victim: 

EL SENOR DON SANTOS URIQUE, 

La Casa Blanca, 
MY DEAR SIR: 

I beg permission to inform you that there is in my 
house as a temporary guest a young man who arrived 



274 A Double-Dyed Deceiver 

in Buenas Tierras from the United States some days 
ago. Without wishing to excite any hopes that may 
not be realized, I think there is a possibility of his 
being your long-absent son. It might be well for you 
to call and see him. If he is, it is my opinion that his 
intention was to return to his home, but upon arriving 
here, his courage failed him from doubts as to how 
he would be received. 

Your true servant, 
THOMPSON THACKER. 



Half an hour afterward quick time for 
Buenas Tierras Senor Urique's ancient lan- 
dau drove to the consul's door, with the 
barefooted coachman beating and shouting 
at the team of fat, awkward horses. 

A tall man with a white moustache alighted, 
and assisted to the ground a lady who was 
dressed and veiled in unrelieved black. 

The two hastened inside, and were met by 
Thacker with his best diplomatic bow. By 
his desk stood a slender young man with clear- 
cut, . sun-browned features and smoothly 
brushed black hair. 

Sefiora Urique threw back her heavy veil 
with a quick gesture. She was past middle 
age, and her hair was beginning to silver, but 
her full, proud figure and clear olive skin 



A Double-Dyed Deceiver 275 

retained traces of the beauty peculiar to the 
Basque province. But, once you had seen 
her eyes, and comprehended the great sad- 
ness that was revealed in their deep shadows 
and hopeless expression, you saw that the 
woman lived only in some memory. 

She bent upon the young man a long look 
of the most agonized questioning. Then 
her great black eyes turned, and her gaze 
rested upon his left hand. And then with a 
sob, not loud, but seeming to shake the room, 
she cried, "Hijo mio !" and caught the Llano 
Kid to her heart. 

A month afterward the Kid came to the 
consulate in response to a message sent by 
Thacker. 

He looked the young Spanish caballero. 
His clothes were imported, and the wiles of 
the jewellers had not been spent upon him in 
rain. A more than respectable diamond 
shone on his finger as he rolled a shuck ciga- 
rette. 

"What's doing?" asked Thacker. 

"Nothing much," said the Kid calmly. 
" I eat my first iguana steak to-day. They're 
them big lizards, you sabe ? I reckon, though, 



276 A Double-Dyed Deceiver 

that frijoles and side bacon would do me about 
as well. Do you care for iguanas, Thacker?" 

"No, nor for some other kinds of reptiles," 
said Thacker. 

It was three in the afternoon, and in an- 
other hour he would be in his state of beati- 
tude. 

"It's time you were making good, sonny," 
he went on, with an ugly look on his reddened 
face. "You're not playing up to me square. 
You've been the prodigal son for four weeks 
now, and you could have had veal for every 
meal on a gold dish if you'd wanted it. Now, 
Mr. Kid, do you think it's right to leave me 
out so long on a husk diet? What's the 
trouble? Don't you get your filial eyes on 
anything that looks like cash in the Casa 
Blanca? Don't tell me you don't. Every- 
body knows where old Urique keeps his stuff. 
It's U. S. currency, too; he don't accept any- 
thing else. What's doing? Don't say 'noth- 
ing' this time." 

"Why, sure," said the Kid, admiring his 
diamond, "there's plenty of money up there. 
I'm no judge of collateral in bunches, but I 
will undertake for to say that I've seen the 
rise of $50,000 at a time in that tin grub 



A Double-Dyed Deceiver 277 

box that my adopted father calls his safe. 
And he lets me carry the key sometimes 
just to show me that he knows I'm the real 
little Francisco that strayed from the herd 
a long time ago." 

"Well, what are you waiting for?" asked 
Thacker angrily. "Don't you forget that I 
can upset your apple-cart any day I want to. 
If old Urique knew you were an impostor, 
what sort of things would happen to you? 
Oh, you don't know this country, Mr. Texas 
Kid. The laws here have got mustard spread 
between 'em. These people here'd stretch 
you out like a frog that had been stepped on, 
and give you about fifty sticks at every 
corner of the plaza. And they'd wear every 
stick out, too. What was left of you they'd 
feed to alligators." 

"I might as well tell you now, pardner," 
said the Kid, sliding down low on his steamer 
chair, "that things are going to stay just as 
they are. They're about right now." 

"What do you mean?" asked Thacker, 
rattling the bottom of his glass on his desk, 

"The scheme's off," said the Kid. "And 
whenever you have the pleasure of speaking 
to me address me as Don Francisco Urique. 



278 A Double-Dyed Deceiver 

I'll guarantee I'll answer to it. We'll let 
Colonel Urique keep his money. His little 
tin safe is as good as the time-locker in the 
First National Bank of Laredo as far as you 
and me are concerned." 

"You're going to throw me down, then, 
are you?" said the consul. 

"Sure," said the Kid cheerfully. "Throw 
you down. That's it. And now I'll tell you 
why. The first night I was up at" the Colo- 
nel's house they introduced me to a bed- 
room. No blankets on the floor a real 
room, with a bed and things in it. And be- 
fore I was asleep, in comes this artificial 
mother of mine and tucks in the covers. 
'Panchito/ she says, c my little lost one, God 
has brought you back to me. I bless His 
name forever.' It was that, or some truck 
like that, she said. And down comes a drop 
or two of rain and hits me on the nose. And 
all that stuck by me, Mr. Thacker. And it's 
been that way ever since. And it's got to 
stay that way. Don't you think that it's 
for what's in it for me, either, that I say so. 
If you have any such ideas, keep 'em to 
yourself. I haven't had much, truck with 
women in my life, and no mothers to speak 



A Double-Dyed Deceiver 279 

of, but here's a lady that we've got to keep 
fooled. Once she stood it; twice she won't. 
I'm a low-down wolf, and the devil may have 
sent me on this trail instead of God, but I'll 
travel it to the end. And now, don't forget 
that I'm Don Francisco Urique whenever 
you happen to mention my name." 

"I'll expose you to-day, you you double- 
dyed traitor," stammered Thacker. 

The Kid arose and, without violence, took 
Thacker by the throat with a hand of steel, 
and shoved him slowly into a corner. Then 
he drew from under his left arm his pearl- 
handled .45 and poked the cold muzzle of it 
against the consul's mouth. 

"I told you why I come here," he said, 
with his old freezing smile. " If I leave here, 
you'll be the reason. Never forget it, pardner. 
Now, what is my name?" 

"Er Don Francisco Urique," gasped 
Thacker. 

From outside came a sound of wheels, and 
the shouting of some one, and the sharp 
thwacks of a wooden whipstock upon the 
backs of fat horses. 

The Kid put up his gun, and walked to- 
ward the door. But he turned again and 



280 A Double-Dyed Deceiver 

came back to the trembling Thacker, and 
held up his left hand with its back toward 
the consul. 

"There's one more reason," he said slowly, 
"why things have got to stand as they are. 
The fellow I killed in Laredo had one of them 
same pictures on his left hand." 

Outside, the ancient landau of Don Santos 
Urique rattled to the door. The coachman 
ceased his bellowing. Senora Urique, in a 
voluminous gay gown of white lace and flying 
ribbons, leaned forward with a happy look 
in her great soft eyes. 

"Are you within, dear son?" she called, 
in the rippling Castilian. 

" Madre mia, yo vengo [mother, I come]," 
answered the voung Don Francisco Urique. 



XXIII 

THE THEORY AND THE HOUND! 

NOT many days ago my old friend from the 
tropics, J. P. Bridger, United States consul 
on the island of Ratona, was in the city. We 
had wassail and jubilee and saw the Flatiron 
building, and missed seeing the Bronxless 
menagerie by about a couple of nights. And 
then, at the ebb tide, we were walking up a 
street that parallels and parodies Broadway. 

A woman with a comely and mundane 
countenance passed us, holding in leash a 
wheezing, vicious, waddling, brute of a yellow 
pug. The dog entangled himself with Brid- 
ger' s legs and mumbled his ankles in a snarl- 
ing, peevish, sulky bite. Bridger, with a 
happy smile, kicked the breath out of the 
brute; the woman showered us with a quick 
rain of well-conceived adjectives that left 
us in no doubt as to our place in her opinion, 
and we passed on. Ten yards farther an 
old woman with disordered white hair and 
281 



282 The Theory and the Hound 

her bankbook tucked well hidden beneath 
her tattered shawl begged. Bridger stopped 
and disinterred for her a quarter from his 
holiday waistcoat. 

On the next corner a quarter of a ton of 
well-clothed man with a rice-powdered, fat, 
white jowl, stood holding the chain of a devil- 
born bulldog whose forelegs were strangers 
by the length of a dachshund. A little wo- 
man in a last season's hat confronted him and 
wept, which was plainly all she could do, 
while he cursed her in low, sweet, practised 
tones. 

Bridger smiled again strictly to himself- 
and this time he took out a little memorandum 
book and made a note of it. This he had no 
right to do without due explanation, and I 
said so. 

"It's a new theory," said Bridger, "that I 
picked up down in Ratona. I've been gather- 
ing support for it as I knock about. The 
world isn't ripe for it yet, but well, I'll tell 
you; and then you run your mind back along 
the people you've known and see what you 
make of it." 

And so I cornered Bridger in a place where 
they have artificial palms and wine; and he 



The Theory and the Hound 283 

told me the story which is here in my words 
and on his responsibility. 

One afternoon at three o'clock, on the is- 
land of Ratona, a boy raced along the beach 
screaming, " Pajaro, ahoy!" 

Thus he made known the keenness of his 
hearing and the justice of his discrimination 
in pitch. 

He who first heard and made oral proclama- 
tion concerning the toot of an approaching 
steamer's whistle, and correctly named the 
steamer, was a small hero in Ratona until 
the next steamer came. Wherefore, there 
was rivalry among the barefoot youth of 
Ratona, and many fell victims to the softly 
blown conch shells of sloops which, as they 
enter harbour, sound surprisingly like a dis- 
tant steamer's signal. And some could name 
you the vessel when its call, in your duller 
ears, sounded no louder than the sigh of the 
wind through the branches of the cocoanut 
palms. 

But to-day he who proclaimed the Pajaro 
gained his honours. Ratona bent its ear to 
listen; and soon the deep^tongued blast grew 
louder and nearer, and at length Ratona 
saw above the line of palms on the low "point" 



284 The Theory and the Hound 

the two black funnels of the fruiter slowly 
creeping toward the mouth of the harbour. 

You rmrst know that Ratona is an island 
twenty miles off the south of a South Ameri- 
can republic. It is a port of that republic; 
and it sleeps sweetly in a smiling sea, toiling 
not nor spinning; fed by the abundant tropics 
where all things "ripen, cease, and fall toward 
the grave." 

Eight hundred people dream life away in a 
green-embowered village that follows the 
horseshoe curve of its bijou harbour. They 
are mostly Spanish and Indian mestizos, 
with a shading of San Domingo Negroes, a 
lightening of pure-blood Spanish officials, and 
a slight leavening of the froth of three or four 
pioneering white races. No steamers touch 
at Ratona save the fruit steamers which take 
on their banana inspectors there on their 
way to the coast. They leave Sunday news- 
papers, ice, quinine, bacon, watermelons, and 
vaccine matter at the island and that is 
about all the touch Ratona gets with the world. 

The Pajaro paused at the mouth of the 
harbour, rolling heavily in the swell that 
sent the whitecaps racing beyond the smooth 
water inside. Already two dories from the 



The Theory and the Hound 285 

village one conveying fruit inspectors, the 
other going for what it could get were half- 
way out to the steamer. 

The inspector's dory was taken on board 
with them, and the Pajaro steamed away for 
the mainland for its load of fruit. 

The other boat returned to Ratona bear- 
ing a contribution from the Pajaro' s store of 
ice, the usual roll of newspapers and one 
passenger Taylor Plunkett, sheriff of Chat- 
ham County, Kentucky. 

Bridger, the United States consul at Ra- 
tona, was cleaning his rifle in the official 
shanty under a bread-fruit tree twenty yards 
from the water of the harbour. The consul 
occupied a place somewhat near the tail of 
his political party's procession. The music 
of the band wagon sounded very faintly to 
him in the distance. The plums of office 
went to others. Bridger's share of the spoils 
the consulship at Ratona was little more 
than a prune a dried prune from the board- 
ing-house department of the public crib. But 
$900 yearly was opulence in Ratona. Be- 
sides, Bridger had contracted a passion for 
shooting alligators in the lagoons near his 
consulate, and he was not unhappy. 



286 The Theory and the Hound 

He looked up from a careful inspection of 
his rifle lock and saw a broad man filling 
his doorway. A broad, noiseless, slow-moving 
man, sunburned almost to the brown of Van- 
dyke. A man of forty-five, neatly clothed in 
homespun, with scanty light hair, a close- 
clipped brown-and-gray beard, and pale-blue 
eyes expressing mildness and simplicity. 

"You are Mr. Bridger, the consul," said 
the broad man. "They directed me here. 
Can you tell me what those big bunches of 
things like gourds are in those trees that look 
like feather dusters along the edge of the 
water ?" 

"Take that chair," said the consul, re- 
oiling his cleaning rag. "No, the other one 
that bamboo thing won't hold you. Why, 
they're cocoanuts green cocoanuts. The 
shell of 'em is always a light green before 
they're ripe." 

"Much obliged," said the other man, sitting 
down carefully. "I didn't quite like to tell 
the folks at home they were olives unless I 
was sure about it. My name is Plunkett. 
I'm sheriff of Chatham County, Kentucky. 
I've got extradition papers in my pocket 
authorizing the arrest of a man on this is- 



The Theory and the Hound 287 

land. They've been signed by the President 
of this country, and they're in correct shape. 
The man's name is Wade Williams. He's in 
the cocoanut raising business. What he's 
wanted for is the murder of his wife two 
years ago. Where can I find him?" 

The consul squinted an eye and looked 
through his rifle barrel. 

"There's nobody on the island who calls 
himself 'Williams,'" he remarked. 

"Didn't suppose there was," said Plunkett 
mildly. "He'll do by any other name." 

"Besides myself," said Bridger, "there are 
only two Americans on Ratona Bob Reeves 
and Henry Morgan." 

"The man I want sells cocoanuts," sug- 
gested Plunkett. 

"You see that cocoanut walk extending up 
to the point?" said the consul, waving his 
hand toward the open door. "That belongs 
to Bob Reeves. Henry Morgan owns half 
the trees to loo'ard on the island." 

"One month ago," said the sheriff, "Wade 
Williams wrote a confidential letter to a 
man in Chatham County, telling him where 
he was and how he was getting along. The 
letter was lost; and the person that found it 



288 The Theory and the Hound 

gave it away. They sent me after him. 
and I've got the papers. I reckon he's one 
of your cocoanut men for certain." 

"You've got his picture, of course," said 
Bridger. "It might be Reeves or Morgan, 
but I'd hate to think it. They're both as 
fine fellows as you'd meet in an all-day auto 
ride." 

"No," doubtfully answered Plunkett; "there 
wasn't any picture of Williams to be had. 
And I never saw him myself. I've been 
sheriff only a year. But I've got a pretty 
accurate description of him. About 5 feet 
n; dark hair and eyes; nose inclined to 
be Roman; heavy about the shoulders; strong, 
white teeth, with none missing; laughs a 
good deal, talkative; drinks considerably 
but never to intoxication; looks you square 
in the eye when talking; age thirty-five. 
Which one of your men does that description 
fit?" 

The consul grinned broadly. 

"I'll tell you what you do," he said, laying 
down his rifle and slipping on his dingy black 
alpaca coat. "You come along, Mr. Plunkett, 
and I'll take you up to see the boys. If you 
can tell which one of 'em your description 






The Theory and the Hound 289 

fits better than it does the other you have the 
advantage of me." 

Bridger conducted the sheriff out and 
along the hard beach close to which the tiny 
houses of the village were distributed. Im- 
mediately back of the town rose sudden, 
small, thickly wooded hills. Up one of these, 
by means of steps cut in the hard clay, the 
consul led Plunkett. On the very verge of 
an eminence was perched a two-room wooden 
cottage with a thatched roof. A Carib wo- 
man was washing clothes outside. The consul 
ushered the sheriff to the door of the room 
that overlooked the harbour. 

Two men were in the room, about to sit 
down, in their shirt sleeves, to a table spread 
for dinner. They bore little resemblance 
one to the other in detail; but the general 
description given by Plunkett could have 
been justly applied to either. In height, 
colour of hair, shape of nose, build, and man- 
ners each of them tallied with it. They 
were fair types of jovial, ready-witted, broad- 
gauged Americans who had gravitated to- 
gether for companionship in an alien land. 

"Hello, Bridger!" they called in unison at 
sight of the consul. "Come and have dinner 



290 The Theory and the Hound 

with us!" And then they noticed Plunkett 
at his heels, and came forward with hospitable 
curiosity. 

"Gentlemen," said the consul, his voice 
taking on unaccustomed formality, "this is 
Mr. Plunkett. Mr. Plunkett Mr. Reeves 
and Mr. Morgan." 

The cocoanut barons greeted the newcomer 
joyously. Reeves seemed about an inch taller 
than Morgan, but his laugh was not quite as 
loud. Morgan's eyes were deep brown; 
Reeves's were black. Reeves was the host 
and busied himself with fetching other chairs 
and calling to the Carib woman for supple- 
mental table ware. It was explained that 
Morgan lived in a bamboo shack to "loo'ard," 
but that every day the two friends dined 
together. Plunkett stood still during the 
preparations, looking about mildly with his 
pale-blue eyes. Bridger looked apologetic 
and uneasy. 

At length two other covers were laid and 
the company was assigned to places. Reeves 
and Morgan stood side by side across the 
table from the visitors. Reeves nodded geni- 
ally as a signal for all to seat themselves. And 
then suddenly Plunkett raised his hand with a 



The Theory and the Hound 291 

gesture of authority. He was looking straight 
between Reeves and Morgan. 

"Wade Williams/' he said quietly, "y u 
are under arrest for murder." 

Reeves and Morgan instantly exchanged a 
quick, bright glance, the quality of which 
was interrogation, with a seasoning of sur- 
prise. Then, simultaneously they turned to 
the speaker with a puzzled and frank depre- 
cation in their gaze. 

"Can't say that we understand you, Mr. 
Plunkett," said Morgan cheerfully. "Did 
you say 'Williams'?" 

"What's the joke, Bridgy?" asked Reeves, 
turning to the consul with a smile. 

Before Bridger could answer Plunkett spoke 
again. 

"I'll explain," he said quietly. "One of 
you don't need any explanation, but this is 
for the other one. One of you is Wade Wil- 
liams of Chatham County, Kentucky. You 
murdered your wife on May 5th, two years 
ago, after ill-treating and abusing her con- 
tinually for five years. I have the proper 
papers in my pocket for taking you back 
with me, and you are going. We will return 
on the fruit steamer that comes back by this 



292 The Theory and the Hound 

island to-morrow to leave its inspectors. I 
acknowledge, gentlemen, that I'm not quite 
sure which one of you is Williams. But 
Wade Williams goes back to Chatham County 
to-morrow. I want you to understand that." 

A great sound of merry laughter from Mor- 
gan and Reeves went out over the still har- 
bour. Two or three fishermen in the fleet 
of sloops anchored there looked up at the 
house of the diablos Americanos on the hill 
and wondered. 

"My dear Mr. Plunkett," cried Morgan, 
conquering his mirth, "the dinner is getting 
cold. Let us sit down and eat. I am anxious 
to get my spoon into that sharkfin soup. 
Business afterward." 

"Sit down, gentlemen, if you please," added 
Reeves pleasantly. "I am sure Mr. Plun- 
kett will not object. ^ Perhaps a little time 
may be of advantage to him in identifying 
the gentleman he wishes to arrest." 

"No objections, I'm sure," said Plunkett, 
dropping into his chair heavily. "I'm hungry 
myself. I didn't want to accept the hos- 
pitality of you folks without giving you notice ; 
that's all." 

Reeves set bottles and glasses on the table. 



The Theory and the Hound 293 

"There's cognac," he said, "and anisada, 
and Scotch 'smoke,' and rye. Take your 
choice." 

Bridger chose rye, Reeves poured three 
fingers of Scotch for himself, Morgan took 
the same. The sheriff, against much pro- 
testation, filled his glass from the water 
bottle. 

"Here's to the appetite," said Reeves, 
raising his glass, "of Mr. Williams!" Mor- 
gan's laugh and his drink encountering sent 
him into a choking splutter. All began to 
pay attention to the dinner, which was well 
cooked and palatable. 

"Williams!" called Plunkett, suddenly and 
sharply. 

All looked up wonderingly. Reeves found 
the sheriff's mild eye resting upon him. He 
flushed a little. 

"See here," he said, with some asperity, 
"my name's Reeves, and I don't want you 
to But the comedy of the thing came 

to his rescue, and he ended with a laugh. 

"I suppose, Mr. Plunkett," said Morgan, 
carefully seasoning an alligator pear, "that 
you are aware of the fact that you will im- 
port a good deal of trouble for yourself 



294 The Theory and the Hound 

into Kentucky if you take back the wrong 
man that is, of course, if you take anybody 
back?" 

"Thank you for the salt/' said the sheriff. 
"Oh, I'll take somebody back. It'll be one 
of you two gentlemen. Yes, I know I'd get 
stuck for damages if I make a mistake. But 
I'm going to try to get the right man." 

"I'll tell you what you do," said Morgan, 
leaning forward with a jolly twinkle in his 
eyes. "You take me. I'll go without any 
trouble. The cocoanut business hasn't panned 
out well this year, and I'd like to make some 
extra money out of your bondsmen." 

"That's not fair," chimed in Reeves. "I 
got only $16 a thousand for my last ship- 
ment. Take me, Mr. Plunkett." 

"I'll take Wade Williams," said the sheriff, 
patiently, "or I'll come pretty close to it." 

"It's like dining with a ghost," remarked 
Morgan, with a pretended shiver. "The 
ghost of a murderer, too! Will somebody 
pass the toothpicks to the shade of the 
haughty Mr. Williams?" 

Plunkett seemed as unconcerned as if he 
were dining at his own table in Chatham 
County. He was a gallant trencherman, 



The Theory and the Hound 295 

and the strange tropic viands tickled his 
palate. Heavy, commonplace, almost sloth- 
ful in his movements, he appeared to be de- 
void of all the cunning and watchfulness of the 
sleuth. He even ceased to observe, with any 
sharpness or attempted discrimination, the 
two men, one of whom he had undertaken, 
with surprising self-confidence, to drag away 
upon the serious charge of wife-murder. 
Here, indeed, was a problem set before him 
that if wrongly solved would have amounted 
to his serious discomfiture, yet there he sat 
puzzling his soul (to all appearances) over the 
novel flavour of a broiled iguana cutlet. 

The consul felt a decided discomfort. Reeves 
and Morgan were his friends and pals; yet 
the sheriff from Kentucky had a certain right 
to his official aid and moral support. So 
Bridger sat the silentest around the board 
and tried to estimate the peculiar situation. 
His conclusion was that both Reeves and 
Morgan, quickwitted, as he knew them to be, 
had conceived at the moment of Plunkett's 
disclosure of his mission and in the brief 
space of a lightning flash the idea that the 
other might be the guilty Williams; and that 
each of them had decided in that moment 



296 The Theory and the Hound 

loyally to protect his comrade against the 
doom that threatened him. This was the 
consul's theory and if he had been a book- 
maker at a race of wits for life and liberty 
he would have offered heavy odds against 
the plodding sheriff from Chatham County, 
Kentucky. 

When the meal was concluded the Carib 
woman came and removed the dishes and 
cloth. Reeves strewed the table with excellent 
cigars, and Plunkett, with the others, lighted 
one of these with evident gratification. 

"I may be dull," said Morgan, with a grin 
and a wink at Bridger; "but I want to know 
if I am. Now, I say this is all a joke of Mr. 
Plunkett's, concocted to frighten two babes- 
in-the-woods. Is this Williamson to be taken 
seriously or not?" 

"'Williams,'" corrected Plunkett gravely. 
"I never got off any jokes in my life. I know 
I wouldn't travel 2,000 miles to get off a 
poor one as this would be if I didn't take 
Wade Williams back with me. Gentlemen!" 
continued the sheriff, now letting his mild 
eyes travel impartially from one of the com- 
pany to another, "see if you can find any 
joke in this case. Wade Williams is listening 



The Theory and the Hound 297 

to the words I utter now; but out of polite- 
ness I will speak of him as a third person. 
For five years he made his wife lead the life 
of a dog No; I'll take that back. No dog 
in Kentucky was ever treated as she was. 
He spent the money that she brought him 
spent it at races, at the card table, and on 
horses and hunting. He was a good fellow 
to his friends, but a cold, sullen demon at 
home. He wound up the five years of neg- 
lect by striking her with his closed hand a 
hand as hard as a stone when she was ill 
and weak from suffering. She died the next 
day; and he skipped. That's all there is to 
it. It's enough. I never saw Williams; but 
I knew his wife. I'm not a man to tell half. 
She and I were keeping company when she 
met him. She went to Louisville on a visit 
and saw him there. I'll admit that he spoilt 
my chances in no time. I lived then on the 
edge of the Cumberland mountains. I was 
elected sheriff of Chatham County a year 
after Wade Williams killed his wife. My 
official duty sends me out here after him; 
but I'll admit that there's personal feeling, 
too. And he's going back with me. Mr. 
er Reeves, will you pass me a match?" 



298 The Theory and the Hound 

"Awfully imprudent of Williams," said 
Morgan, putting his feet up against the wall, 
"to strike a Kentucky lady. Seems to me 
I've heard they were scrappers." 

"Bad, bad Williams," said Reeves, pouring 
out more "Scotch." 

The two men spoke lightly, but the consul 
saw and felt the tension and the carefulness 
in their actions and words. "Good old 
fellows," he said to himself; "they're both 
all right. Each of 'em is standing by the 
other like a little brick church." 

And then a dog walked into the room where 
they sat a black-and-tan hound, long-eared, 
lazy, confident of welcome. 

Plunkett turned his head and looked at the 
animal, which halted, confidently, within a 
few feet of his chair. 

Suddenly the sheriff, with a deep-mouthed 
oath, left his seat and bestowed upon the dog a 
vicious and heavy kick, with his ponderous 
shoe. 

The hound, heart-broken, astonished, with 
flapping ears and incurved tail, uttered a 
piercing yelp of pain and surprise. 

Reeves and the consul remained in their 
chairs, saying nothing, but astonished at the 



The Theory and the Hound 299 

unexpected show of intolerance from the 
easy-going man from Chatham County. 

But Morgan, with a suddenly purpling 
face, leaped to his feet and raised a threaten- 
ing arm above the guest. 

"You brute!" he shouted passionately; 
"why did you do that?" 

Quickly the amenities returned, Plunkett 
muttered some indistinct apology and re- 
gained his seat. Morgan with a decided 
effort controlled his indignation and also 
returned to his chair. 

And then Plunkett, with the spring of a tiger, 
leaped around the corner of the table and snap- 
ped handcuff son the paralyzed Morgan's wrists. 

"Hound-lover and woman-killer!" he cried; 
"get ready to meet your God." 

When Bridger had finished I asked him: 

"Did he get the right man?" 

"He did," said the consul. 

"And how did he know?" I inquired, being 
in a kind of bewilderment. 

"When he put Morgan in the dory," an- 
swered Bridger, "the next day to take him 
aboard the Pajaro, this man Plunkett stopped 
to shake hands with me and I asked him the 
same question. 



30O The Theory and the Hound 

"'Mr. Bridger/ said he, 'I'm a Kentuckian, 
and I've seen a great deal of both men and 
animals. And I never yet saw a man that 
was overfond of horses and dogs but what 
was cruel to women.'" 



3ol 






XXIV 

A BLACKJACK BARGAINER 

THE most disreputable thing in Yancey 
Goree's law office was Goree himself, sprawled 
in his creaky old armchair. The rickety little 
office, built of red brick, was set flush with the 
street the main street of the town of Bethel. 

Bethel rested upon the foothills of the 
Blue Ridge. Above it the mountains were 
piled to the sky. Far below it the turbid 
Catawba gleamed yellow along its discon- 
solate valley. 

The June day was at its sultriest hour. 
Bethel dozed in the tepid shade. Trade was 
not. It was so still that Goree, reclining in 
his chair, distinctly heard the clicking of the 
chips in the grand jury room, where the "court- 
house gang" was playing poker. From the 
open back door of the office a well-worn path 
meandered across the grassy lot to the court- 
house. The treading out of that path had 
cost Goree all he ever had first inheritance 
301 



302 A Blackjack Bargainer 

of a few thousand dollars, next the old family 
home, and latterly the last shreds of his self- 
respect and manhood. The "gang" had 
cleaned him out. The broken gambler had 
turned drunkard and parasite; he had lived 
to see this day come when the men who had 
stripped him denied him a seat at the game. 
His word was no longer to be taken. The 
daily bouts at cards had arranged itself ac- 
cordingly, and to him was assigned the ig- 
noble part of the onlooker. The sheriff, the 
county clerk, a sportive deputy, a gay at- 
torney, and a chalk-faced man hailing "from 
the valley," sat at table, and the sheared one 
was thus tacitly advised to go and grow more 
wool. 

Soon wearying of his ostracism, Goree had 
departed for his office, muttering to himself 
as he unsteadily traversed the unlucky path- 
way. After a drink of corn whiskey from a 
demijohn under the table, he had flung him- 
self into the chair, staring, in a sort of maudlin 
apathy, out at the mountains immersed in 
the summer haze. The little white patch he 
saw away up on the side of Blackjack was 
Laurel, the village near which he had been 
born and bred. There, also, was the birth- 



A Blackjack Bargainer 303 

place of the feud between the Gorees and the 
Coltranes. Now no direct heir of the Gorees 
survived except this plucked and singed bird 
of misfortune. To the Coltranes, also, but 
one male supporter was left Colonel Abner 
Coltrane, a man of substance and standing, a 
member of the State Legislature, and a con- 
temporary with Goree's father. The feud 
had been a typical one of the region; it had 
left a red record of hate, wrong, and slaughter. 
But Yancey Goree was not thinking of 
feuds. His befuddled brain was hopelessly 
attacking the problem of the future mainte- 
nance of himself and his favourite follies. Of 
late, old friends of the family had seen to it 
that he had whereof to eat and a place to sleep, 
but whiskey they would not buy for him, 
and he must have whiskey. His law business 
was extinct; no case had been intrusted to 
him in two years. He had been a borrower 
and a sponge, and it seemed that if he fell 
no lower it would be from lack of opportunity. 
One more chance he was saying to himself 
if he had one more stake at the game, he 
thought he could win; but he had nothing 
left to sell, and his credit was more than ex- 
hausted. 



304 A Blackjack Bargainer 

He could not help smiling, even in his 
misery, as he thought of the man to whom, 
six months before, he had sold the old Goree 
homestead. There had come from "back 
yan'" in the mountains two of the strangest 
creatures, a man named Pike Garvey and his 
wife. "Back yan'," with a wave of the hand 
toward the hills, was understood among the 
mountaineers to designate the remotest fast- 
nesses, the unplumbed gorges, the haunts of 
lawbreakers, the wolfs den, and the boudoir 
of the bear. In the cabin far up on Black- 
jack's shoulder, in the wildest part of these re- 
treats, this odd couple had lived for twenty 
years. They had neither dog nor children 
to mitigate the heavy silence of the hills. 
Pike Garvey was little known in the settle- 
ments, but all who had dealt with him pro- 
nounced him "crazy as a loon." He acknow- 
ledged no occupation save that of a squirrel 
hunter, but he "moonshined" occasionally by 
way of diversion. Once the "revenues'* had 
dragged him from his lair, fighting silently 
and desperately like a terrier, and he had been 
sent to state's prison for two years. Re- 
leased, he popped back into his hole like an 
angry weasel. 



A Blackjack Bargainer 305 

Fortune, passing over many anxious woo- 
ers, made a freakish flight into Blackjack's 
bosky pockets to smile upon Pike and his 
faithful partner. 

One day a party of spectacled, knicker- 
bockered, and altogether absurd prospectors 
invaded the vicinity of the Garvey's cabin. 
Pike lifted his squirrel rifle off the hooks arid 
took a shot at them at long range on tfre 
chance of their being revenues. Happily he 
missed, and the unconscious agents of good 
luck drew nearer, disclosing their innocence 
of anything resembling law or justice. Later 
on, they offered the Garveys an enormous 
quantity of ready, green, crisp money for 
their thirty-acre patch of cleared land, men- 
tioning, as an excuse for such a mad action, 
some irrelevant and inadequate nonsense 
about a bed of mica underlying the said 
property. 

When the Garveys became possessed of 
so many dollars that they faltered in com- 
puting them, the deficiencies of life on Black- 
jack began to grow prominent. Pike began 
to talk of new shoes, a hogshead of tobacco to 
set in the corner, a new lock to his rifle; and, 
leading Martella to a certain spot on the 



306 A Blackjack Bargainer 

mountain-side, he pointed out to her how a 
small cannon doubtless a thing not beyond 
the scope of their fortune in price might be 
planted so as to command and defend the sole 
accessible trail to the cabin, to the confusion 
of revenues and meddling strangers forever. 

But Adam reckoned without his Eve. These 
things represented to him the applied power 
of wealth, but there slumbered in his dingy 
cabin an ambition that soared far above his 
primitive wants. Somewhere in Mrs. Gar- 
vey's bosom still survived a spot of femininity 
unstarved by twenty years of Blackjack. For 
so long a time the sounds in her ears had been 
the scaly-barks dropping in the woods at 
noon, and the wolves singing among the rocks 
at night, and it was enough to have purged 
her of vanities. She had grown fat and sad 
and yellow and dull. But when the means 
came, she felt a rekindled desire to assume 
the perquisites of her sex to sit at tea tables; 
to buy inutile things; to whitewash the hide- 
ous veracity of life with a little form and 
ceremony. So she coldly vetoed Pike's pro- 
posed system of fortifications, and announced 
that they would descend upon the world, and 
gyrate socially. 



A Blackjack Bargainer 307 

And thus, at length, it was decided, and the 
thing done. The village of Laurel was their 
compromise between Mrs. Garvey's prefer- 
ence for one of the large valley towns and 
Pike's hankering for primeval solitudes. Laurel 
yielded a halting round of feeble social dis- 
tractions comportable with Martella's am- 
bitions, and was not entirely without rec- 
ommendation to Pike, its contiguity to the 
mountains presenting advantages for sudden 
retreat in case fashionable society should 
make it advisable. 

Their descent upon Laurel had been coin- 
cident with Yancey Goree's feverish desire to 
convert property into casrr, and they bought 
the old Goree homestead, paying four thou- 
sand dollars ready money into the spend- 
thrift's shaking hands. 

Thus it happened that while the disreput- 
able last of the Gorees sprawled in his disrep- 
utable office, at the end of his row, spurned 
by the cronies whom he had gorged, strangers 
dwelt in the halls of his fathers. 

A cloud of dust was rolling slowly up the 
parched street, with something travelling in 
the midst of it. A little breeze wafted the 
cloud to one side, and a new, brightly painted 



308 A Blackjack Bargainer 

carryall, drawn by a slothful gray horse, be- 
came visible. The vehicle deflected from 
the middle of the street as it neared Goree's 
office, and stopped in the gutter directly in 
front of his door. 

On the front seat sat a gaunt, tall man, 
dressed in black broadcloth, his rigid hands 
incarcerated in yellow kid gloves. On the 
back seat was a lady who triumphed over the 
June heat. Her stout form was armoured 
in a skin-tight silk dress of the description 
known as "changeable," being a gorgeous 
combination of shifting hues. She sat erect, 
waving a much-ornamented fan, with her 
eyes fixed stonily far down the street. How- 
ever Martella Garvey's heart might be re- 
joicing at the pleasures of her new life, Black- 
jack had done his work with her exterior. 
He had carved her countenance to the image 
of emptiness and inanity; had imbued her 
with the stolidity of his crags and the reserve 
of his hushed interiors. She always seemed 
to hear, whatever her surroundings were, the 
scaly-barks falling and pattering down the 
mountainside. She could always hear the 
awful silence of Blackjack sounding through 
the stillest of nights. 



A Blackjack Bargainer 309 

Goree watched this solemn equipage, as 
it drove to his door, with only faint interest; 
but when the lank driver wrapped the reins 
about his whip, awkwardly descended, and 
stepped into the office, he rose unsteadily 
to receive him, recognizing Pike Garvey, the 
new, the transformed, the recently civilized. 

The mountaineer took the chair Goree 
offered him. They who cast doubts upon 
Garvey' s soundness of mind had a strong wit- 
ness in the man's countenance. His face 
was too long, a dull saffron in hue, and im- 
mobile as a statue's. Pale-blue, unwinking 
round eyes without lashes added to the singu- 
larity of his gruesome visage. Goree was at 
a loss to account for the visit. 

"Everything all right at Laurel, Mr. Gar- 
vey?" he inquired. 

"Everything all right, sir, and mighty 
pleased is Missis Garvey and me with the 
property. Missis Garvey likes yo' old place, 
and she likes the neighbourhood. Society 
is what she 'lows she wants, and she is gettin' 
of it. The Rogerses, the Hapgoods, the 
Pratts, and the Troys hev been to see Missis 
Garvey, and she hev et meals to most of thar 
houses. The best folks hev axed her to differ'nt 



3io A Blackjack Bargainer 

kinds of doin's. I cyan't say, Mr. Goree, 
that sech things suits me fur me, give me 
them thar." Garvey' s huge, yellow-gloved 
hand flourished in the direction of the moun- 
tains. " That's whar I b'long, 'mongst the 
wild honey bees and the b'ars. But that 
ain't what I come fur to say, Mr. Goree. 
Thar's somethin' you got what me and Missis 
Garvey wants to buy." 

"Buy! "echoed Goree. "From me?" Then 
he laughed harshly. "I reckon you are mis- 
taken about that. I reckon you are mistaken 
about that. I sold out to you, as you your- 
self expressed it, 'lock, stock, and barrel/ 
There isn't even a ramrod left to sell." 

"You've got it; and we 'uns want it. 'Take 
the money,' says Missis Garvey, 'and buy it 
fa'r and squar'." 

Goree shook his head. "The cupboard's 
bare," he said. 

"We've riz," pursued the mountaineer, un- 
deflecfced from his object, "a heap. We was 
pore as possums, and now we could hev folks 
to dinner every day. We been reco'nized, 
Missis Garvey says, by the best society. But 
there's somethin' we need we ain't got. She 
says it ought to been put in the 'ventory 



A Blackjack Bargainer 311 

ov the sale, but it tain't thar. 'Take the 
money, then/ says she, 'and buy it fa'r and 



"Out with it," said Goree, his racked nerves 
growing impatient. 

Garvey threw his slouch hat upon the table, 
and leaned forward, fixing his unblinking eyes 
upon Goree's. 

"There's a old feud," he said distinctly and 
slowly, " 'tween you 'uns and the Coltranes." 

Goree frowned ominously. To speak of his 
feud to a feudist is a serious breach of the 
mountain etiquette. The man from "back 
yan'" knew it as well as the lawyer did. 

"Na .offense," he went on, "but purely in 
the way of business. Missis Garvey hev 
studied all about feuds. Most of the quality 
folks in the mountains hev 'em. The Settles 
and the Goforths, the Rankins and the Boyds, 
the Silers and the Galloways, hev all been 
cyarin' on feuds Pom twenty to a hundred 
year. The last man. to drap was when yo' 
uncle, Jedge Paisley Goree, 'journed co't and 
shot Len Coltrane f'om the bench. Missis 
Garvey and me, we come f'om the po' white 
trash. Nobody wouldn't pick a feud with 
we 'uns, no mo'n with a fam'ly of treetoads. 



312 A Blackjack Bargainer 

Quality people everywhar, says Missis Gar- 
vey, has feuds. We 'uns ain't quality, but 
we're buyin' into it as fur as we can. 'Take 
the money, then,' says Missis Garvey, 'and 
buy Mr. Goree's feud, fa'r and squarV" 

The squirrel hunter straightened a leg half 
across the room, drew a roll of bills from his 
pocket, and threw them on the table. 

"Thar's two hundred dollars, Mr. Goree; 
what you would call a fa'r price for a feud 
that's been 'lowed to run down like yourn 
hev. Thar's only you left to cyar' on yo' 
side of it, and you'd make mighty po' killin'. 
I'll take it off yo' hands, and it'll set me and 
Missis Garvey up among the quality. Thar's 
the money." 

The little roll of currency on the table 
slowly untwisted itself, writhing and jumping 
as its folds relaxed. In the silence that fol- 
lowed Garvey's last speech the rattling of 
the poker chips in the court-house could be 
plainly heard. Goree knew that the sheriff 
had just won a pot, for the subdued whoop 
with which he always greeted a victory floated 
across the square upon the crinkly heat waves. 
Beads of moisture stood on Goree's brow. 
Stooping, he drew the wicker-covered demi- 



A Blackjack Bargainer 313 

/ohn from under the table, and filled a tum- 
bler from it. 

"A little corn liquor, Mr. Garvey? Of 
course you are joking about what you spoke 
of? Opens quite a new market, doesn't it? 
Feuds, prime, two-fifty to three. Feuds, 
slightly damaged two hundred, I believe 
you said, Mr. Garvey?" 

Goree laughed self-consciously. 

The mountaineer took the glass Goree 
handed him, and drank the whiskey without 
a tremour of the lids of his staring eyes. The 
lawyer applauded the feat by a look of envious 
admiration. He poured his own drink, and 
took it like a drunkard, by gulps, and with 
shudders at the smell and taste. 

"Two hundred," repeated Garvey. "Thar's 
the money." 

A sudden passion flared up in Goree's brain. 
He struck the table with his fist. One of the 
bills flipped over and touched his hand. He 
flinched as if something had stung him. 

"Do you come to me," he shouted, "ser- 
iously with such a ridiculous, insulting, darned 
fool proposition?" 

"It's fa'r and squar'," said the squirrel 
hunter, but he reached out his hand as if to 



314 A Blackjack Bargainer 

take back the money; and then Goree knew 
that his own flurry of rage had not been 
from pride or resentment, but from anger at 
himself, knowing that he would set foot in the 
deeper depths that were being opened to him. 
He turned in an instant from an outraged 
gentleman to an anxious chafferer recom- 
mending his goods. 

"Don't be in a hurry, Garvey," he said, his 
face crimson and his speech thick. "I ac- 
cept your p-p-proposition, though it's dirt 
cheap at two hundred. A t-trade's all right 
when both p-purchaser and b-buyer are s-satis- 
fied. Shall I w-wrap it up for you, Mr. 
Garvey?" 

Garvey rose, and shook out his broadcloth. 
"Missis Garvey will be pleased. You air out 
of it, and it stands Coltrane and Garvey. Just 
a scrap ov writin', Mr. Goree, you bein' a 
lawyer, to show we traded." 

Goree seized a sheet of paper and a pen. 
The money was clutched in his moist hand. 
Everything eke suddenly seemed to grow 
trivial and light. 

"Bill of sale, by all means. 'Right, title, 
and interest in and to' ... 'forever war- 
rant and ' No, Garvey, we'll have to 



A Blackjack Bargainer 315 

leave out that 'defend/" said Goree with a 
loud laugh. "You'll have to defend this title 
yourself/' 

The mountaineer received the amazing 
screed that the lawyer handed him, folded it 
with immense labour, and placed it carefully 
in his pocket. 

Goree was standing near the window. " Step 
here," he said, raising his finger, "and I'll 
show you your recently purchased enemy. 
There he goes, down the other side of the 
street." 

The mountaineer crooked his long frame to 
look through the window in the direction in- 
dicated by the other. Colonel Abner Col- 
trane, an erect, portly gentleman of about 
fifty, wearing the inevitable long, double- 
breasted frock coat of the Southern lawmaker, 
and an old high silk hat, was passing on the 
opposite sidewalk. As Garvey looked, Goree 
glanced at his face. If there be such a thing 
as a yellow wolf, here was its counterpart. 
Garvey snarled as his unhuman eyes followed 
the moving figure, disclosing long, amber- 
coloured fangs. 

"Is that him? Why, that's the man who 
sent me to the pen'tentiary once!" 



316 A Blackjack Bargainer 

"He used to be district attorney," said 
Goree carelessly. "And, by the way, he's a 
first-class shot." 

"I kin hit a squirrel's eye at a hundred 
yard," said Garvey. "So that thar's Col- 
trane! I made a better trade than I was 
thinkin'. I'll take keer ov this feud, Mr. 
Goree, better'n you ever did!" 

He moved toward the door, but lingered 
there, betraying a slight perplexity. 

"Anything - else to-day?" inquired Goree 
with frothy sarcasm. "Any family tradi- 
tions, ancestral ghosts, or skeletons in the 
closet ? Prices as low as the lowest." 

"Thar was another thing," replied the un- 
moved squirrel hunter, "that Missis Garvey 
was thinkin' of. Tain't so much in my line 
as t'other, but she wanted partic'lar that I 
should inquire, and ef you was willin', 'pay 
fur it/ she says, 'fa'r and squarV Thar's a 
buryin* groun', as you know, Mr. Goree, in 
the yard of yo' old place, under the cedars. 
Them that lies thar is yo' folks what was 
killed by the Coltranes. The monyments 
has the names on 'em. Missis Garvey says a 
fam'ly buryin' groun' is a sho' sign of quality. 
She says ef we git the feud, thar's somethin' 



A Blackjack Bargainer 317 

else ought to go with it. The names on them 
monyments is ' Goree,' but they can be changed 
to ourn by 

"Go! Go!" screamed Goree, his face turn- 
ing purple. He stretched out both hands to- 
ward the mountaineer, his fingers hooked and 
shaking. " Go, you ghoul ! Even a Ch-China- 
man protects the g-graves of his ancestors 
go!" 

The squirrel hunter slouched out of the 
door to his carryall. While he was climbing 
>ver the wheel Goree was collecting, with 
feverish celerity, the money that had fallen 
from his hand to the floor. As the vehicle 
slowly turned about, the sheep, with a coat 
of newly grown wool, was hurrying, in in- 
decent haste, along the path to the court- 
house. 

At three o'clock in the morning they brought 
him back to his office, shorn and unconscious. 
The sheriff, the sportive deputy, the county 
clerk, and the gay attorney carried him, the 
chalk-faced man "from the valley" acting as 
escort. 

"On the table," said one of them, and they 
deposited him there among the litter of his 
unprofitable books and papers. 



3i8 A Blackjack Bargainer 

" Yance thinks a lot of a pair of deuces when 
he's liquored up," sighed the sheriff reflec- 
tively. 

"Too much," said the gay attorney. "A 
man has no business to play poker who drinks 
as much as he does. I wonder how much he 
dropped to-night/' 

"Close to two hundred. What I wonder 
is whar he got it. Yance ain't had a cent fur 
over a month, I know." 

"Struck a client, maybe. Well, let's get 
home before daylight. He'll be all right 
when he wakes up, except for a sort of beehive 
about the cranium." 

The gang slipped away through the early 
morning twilight. The next eye to gaze upon 
the miserable Goree was the orb of day. He 
peered through the uncurtained window, first 
deluging the sleeper in a flood of faint gold, 
but soon pouring upon the mottled red of 
his flesh a searching, white, summer heat. 
Goree stirred, half unconsciously, among the 
table's debris, and turned his face from the 
window. His movement dislodged a heavy 
law book, which crashed upon the floor. 
Opening his eyes, he saw, bending over him, 
a man in a black frock coat. Looking higher, 






A Blackjack Bargainer 319 

he discovered a well-worn silk hat, and be- 
neath it the kindly, smooth face of Colonel 
Abner Coltrane. 

A little uncertain of the outcome, the 
colonel waited for the other to make some 
sign of recognition. Not in twenty years 
had male members of these two families 
faced each other in peace. Goree's eyelids 
puckered as he strained his blurred sight 
toward this visitor, and then he smiled serenely. 

"Have you brought Stella and Lucy over 
to play?" he said calmly. 

"Do you know me, Yancey?" asked Col- 
trane. 

"Of course I do. You brought me a whip 
with a whistle in the end." 

So he had twenty-four years ago; when 
Yancey 's father was his best friend. 

Goree's eyes wandered about the room. 
The colonel understood. "Lie still, and I'll 
bring you some," said he. There was a pump 
in the yard at the rear, and Goree closed his 
eyes, listening with rapture to the click of its 
handle, and the bubbling of the falling stream. 
Coltrane brought a pitcher of the cool water, 
and held it for him to drink. Presently 
Goree sat up a most forlorn object, his 



320 A Blackjack Bargainer 

summer suit of flax soiled and crumpled, his 
discreditable head tousled and unsteady. He 
tried to wave one of his hands toward the 
colonel. 

" Ex-excuse everything, will you ?" he said. 
"I must have drunk too much whiskey last 
night, and gone to bed on the table." His 
brows knitted into a puzzled frown. 

"Out with the boys a while?" asked Col- 
trane kindly. 

"No, I went nowhere. I haven't had a 
dollar to spend in the last two months. 
Struck the demijohn too often, I reckon, as 
usual." 

Colonel Coltrane touched him on the shoul- 
der. 

"A little while ago, Yancey," he began, 
"you asked me if I had brought Stella and 
Lucy over to play. You weren't quite awake 
then, and must have been dreaming you were 
a boy again. You are awake now, and I 
want you to listen to me. I have come from 
Stella and Lucy to their old playmate, and 
to my old friend's son. They know that I 
am going to bring you home with me, and you 
will find them as ready with a welcome as 
they were in the old days. I want you to? 



A Blackjack Bargainer 321 

come to my house and stay until you are 
yourself again, and as much longer as you 
will. We heard of your being down in the 
world, and in the midst of temptation, and 
we agreed that you should come over and 
play at our house once more. Will you come, 
my boy? Will you drop our old family 
trouble and come with me?" 

" Trouble!" said Goree, opening his eyes 
wide. "There was never any trouble be- 
tween us that I know of. I'm sure we've 
always been the best friends. But, good 
Lord, Colonel, how could I go to your home 
as I am a drunken wretch, a miserable, 
degraded spendthrift and gambler 

He lurched from the table into his arm- 
chair, and began to weep maudlin tears, 
mingled with genuine drops of remorse and 
shame. Coltrane talked to him persistently 
and reasonably, reminding him of the simple 
mountain pleasures of which he had once 
been so fond, and insisting upon the genuine- 
ness of the invitation. 

Finally he landed Goree by tellkig him he 
was counting upon his help in the engineering 
and transportation of a large amount of felled 
timber from a high mountain-side to a water- 



322 A Blackjack Bargainer 

way. He knew that Goree had once invented 
a device for this purpose a series of slides 
and chutes upon which he had justly prided 
himself. In an instant the poor fellow, de- 
lighted at the idea of his being of use to any 
one, had paper spread upon the table, and 
was drawing rapid but pitifully shaky lines in 
demonstration of what he could and would do. 

The man was sickened of the husks; his 
prodigal heart was turning again toward the 
mountains. His mind was yet strangely 
clogged, and his thoughts and memories 
were returning to his brain one by one, like 
carrier pigeons over a stormy sea. But Col- 
trane was satisfied with the progress he had 
made. 

Bethel received the surprise of its existence 
that afternoon when a Coltrane and a Goree 
rode amicably together through the town. 
Side by side they rode, out from the dusty 
streets and gaping townspeople, down across 
the creek bridge, and up toward the mountain. 
The prodigal had brushed and washed and 
combed himself to a more decent figure, but 
he was unsteady in the saddle, and he seemed 
to be deep in the contemplation of some vex- 
ing problem. Coltrane left him in his mood, 



A Blackjack Bargainer 323 

relying ugon the influence of changed sur- 
roundings to restore his equilibrium. 

Once Goree was seized with a shaking fit* 
and almost came to a collapse. He had to 
dismount and rest at the side of the road. 
The colonel, foreseeing such a condition, had 
provided a small flask of whiskey for the 
journey, but when it was offered to him Goree 
refused it almost with violence, declaring he 
would never touch it again. By and by he 
was recovered, and went quietly enough for 
a mile or two. Then he pulled up his horse 
suddenly, and said: 

"I lost two hundred dollars last night, 
playing poker. Now, where did I get that 
money?" 

"Take it easy, Yancey. The mountain 
air will soon clear it up. We'll go fishing, 
first thing, at the Pinnacle Falls. The trout 
are jumping there like bullfrogs. We'll take 
Stella and Lucy along, arid have a picnic on 
Eagle Rock. Have you forgotten how a 
hickory-cured-ham sandwich tastes, Yancey, 
to a hungry fisherman?" 

Evidently the colonel did not believe the 
story of his lost wealth; so Goree retired 
again into brooding silence. 



324 A Blackjack Bargainer 

By late afternoon they had travelled ten 
of the twelve miles between Bethel and Laurel. 
Half a mile this side of Laurel lay the old 
Goree place; a mile or two beyond the village 
lived the Coltranes. The road was now steep 
and laborious, but the compensations were 
many. The tilted aisles of the forest were 
opulent with leaf and bird and bloom. The 
tonic air put to shame the pharmacopaeia. 
The glades were dark with mossy shade, and 
bright with shy rivulets winking from the 
ferns and laurels. On the lower side they 
viewed, framed in the near foliage, exquisite 
sketches of the far valley swooning in its opal 
haze. 

Coltrane was pleased to see that his com- 
panion was yielding to the spell of the hills 
and woods. For now they had but to skirt 
the base of Painter's Cliff; to cross Elder 
Branch and mount the hill beyond, and Goree 
would have to face the squandered home of 
his fathers. Every rock he passed, every 
tree, every foot of the roadway, was familiar 
to him. Though he had forgotten the woods, 
they thrilled him like the music of "Home, 
Sweet Home." 

They rounded the cliff, descended into 



A Blackjack Bargainer 325 

Elder Branch, and paused there to let the 
horses drink and splash in the swift water. 
On the right was a rail fence that cornered 
there, and followed the road and stream. 
Inclosed by it was the old apple orchard of 
the home place; the house was yet concealed 
by the brow of the steep hill. Inside and 
along the fence, pokeberries, elders, sassa- 
fras, and sumac grew high and dense. At 
a rustle of their branches, both Goree and 
Coltrane glanced up, and saw a long, yellow, 
wolfish face above the fence, staring at them 
with pale, unwinking eyes. The head quickly 
disappeared; there was a violent swaying of 
the bushes, and an ungainly figure ran up 
through the apple orchard in the direction of 
the house, zigzagging among the trees. 

"That's Garvey," said Coltrane; "the man 
you sold out to. There's no doubt but he's 
considerably cracked. I had to send him up 
for moonshining once, several years ago, in 
spite of the fact that I believed him irrespon- 
sible. Why, what's the matter, Yancey?" 

Goree was wiping his forehead, and his face 
had lost its colour. "Do I look queer, too?" 
he asked, trying to smile. "I'm just re- 
membering a few more things." Some of the 



326 A Blackjack Bargainer 

alcohol had evaporated from his brain. "I 
recollect now where I got that two hundred 
dollars." 

"Don't think of it," said Coltrane cheer- 
fully. "Later on we'll figure it all out to- 
gether." 

They rode out of the branch, and when they 
reached the foot of the hill Goree stopped 
again. 

"Did you ever suspect I was a very vain 
kind of fellow, Colonel?" he asked. "Sort of 
foolish proud about appearances?" 

The colonel's eyes refused to wander to the 
soiled, sagging suit of flax and the faded slouch 
hat. 

"It seems to me," he replied, mystified, 
but humouring him, "I remember a young 
buck about twenty, with the tightest coat, 
the sleekest hair, and the prancingest saddle 
horse in the Blue Ridge." 

" Right you are," said Goree eagerly. " And 
it's in me yet, though it don't show. Oh, I'm 
as vain as a turkey gobbler, and as proud as 
Lucifer. I'm going to ask you to indulge this 
weakness of mine in a little matter." 

"Speak out, Yancey. We'll create you 
Duke of Laurel and Baron of Blue Ridge, if 



A Blackjack Bargainer 327 

you choose; an4 you shall have a feather out 
of Stella's peacock's tail to wear in your hat." 

"I'm in earnest. In a few minutes we'll 
pass the house up there on the hill where I 
was born, and where my people have lived 
for nearly a century. Strangers live there 
now and look at me! I am about to show 
myself to them ragged and poverty-stricken, 
a wastrel and a beggar. Colonel Coltrane, 
I'm ashamed to do it. I want you to let me 
wear your coat and hat until we are out of 
sight beyond. I know you think it a foolish 
pride, but I want to make as good a showing 
as I can when I pass the old place." 

"Now, what does this mean?" said Col- 
trane to himself, as he compared his com- 
panion's sane looks and quiet demeanour with 
his strange request. But he was already un- 
buttoning the coat, assenting readily, as if the 
fancy were in no wise to be considered strange. 

The coat and hat fitted Goree well. He 
buttoned the former about him with a look 
of satisfaction and dignity. He and Coltrane 
were nearly the same size rather tall, portly, 
and erect. Twenty-five years were between 
them, but in appearance they might have 
been brothers. Goree looked older than his 



328 A Blackjack Bargainer 

age; his face was puffy and lined; the colonel 
had the smooth, fresh complexion of a tem- 
perate liver. He put on Goree's disreputable 
old flax coat and faded slouch hat. 

"Now," said Goree, taking up the reins, 
"I'm all right. I want you to ride about 
ten feet in the rear as we go by, Colonel, so 
that they can get a good look at me. They'll 
see I'm no back number yet, by any means. I 
guess I'll show up pretty well to them once 
more, anyhow. Let's ride on." 

He set out up the hill at a smart trot, the 
colonel following, as he had been requested. 

Goree sat straight in the saddle, with head 
erect, but his eyes were turned to the right, 
sharply scanning every shrub and fence and 
hiding-place in the old homestead yard. Once 
he muttered to himself, "Will the crazy fool 
try it, or did I dream half of it ?" 

It was when he came opposite the little 
family burying ground that he saw what he 
had been looking for a puff of white smoke 
coming from the thick cedars in one corner. 
He toppled so slowly to the left that Coltrane 
had time to urge his horse to that side, and 
catch him with one arm. 

The squirrel hunter had not overpraised 



A Blackjack Bargainer 329 

his aim. He had sent the bullet where he 
intended, and where Goree had expected 
that it would pass through the breast of 
Colonel Abner Coltrane's black frock coat. 

Goree leaned heavily against Coltrane, 
but he did not fall. The horses kept pace, 
side by side, and the colonel's' arm kept him 
steady. The little white houses of Laurel 
shone through the trees, half a mile away. 
Goree reached out one hand and groped until 
it rested upon Coltrane's fingers, which held 
his bridle. 

"Good friend," he said, and that was all. 

Thus did Yancey Goree, as he rode past his 
old home, make, considering all things, the 
best showing that was in his power. 



THE END 




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